Police patrolled Lygon Street on Wednesday morning, and later said they would issue two 17-year-old boys penalty notices for possessing flares.
A third 17-year-old boy was arrested for an unrelated matter. Police said they would investigate whether anyone breached the Chief Health Officer’s directions.
Mr Mandorla said police did a great job handling the festivities and making sure people were safe from the flares and the community was thankful for being able to celebrate Italy’s win.
Formula One fans, especially supporters of the Ferrari team, have a tradition of cruising up and down Lygon Street when the Australian Grand Prix is on in Melbourne, so many in the community were disappointed by the state government’s decision on Tuesday to cancel this year’s race for the second year in a row. Mr Mandorla said Italy’s win was a welcome bit of good news after the grand prix was called off.
Cafe Notturno has broadcast soccer games for about three decades.
Owner Mr Cultrera said Wednesday’s turnout was “incredible”. Not only did people need a boost after the Formula One cancellation but the championship was a chance to get out and celebrate after being cooped up because of COVID-19.
“We noticed from the first games, which weren’t that serious – they weren’t knockout games so if Italy lost, they would still be in – but we noticed from early on the demand … was incredible,” Mr Cultrera said.
“A lot of people said the same story, [that they] were just tired of COVID and it was something new to look forward to.
“It was a lot more demand than usual I think because of COVID.”
Mr Cultrera said the people who showed up on Wednesday morning were a mix of young people, children, older people and families – a fact Mr Mandorla loved, particularly as he was able to share the tradition of attending Lygon Street for Euro 2020 with his daughters.
Denmark and England face off in the other semi-final at 5am on Thursday, Melbourne time. Italy will play the winner of that match in the competition’s decider on Monday morning.
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