Italy vs France live stream FREE: TV channel, kick-off time and team news for Six Nations rugby finale

ITALY and France face off with both sides looking to salvage some pride from underwhelming Six Nations campaigns.

The Italians have already been condemned to a fourth successive wooden spoon but can salvage some pride with a win over their former coach Jacques Brunel's new side.

Visitors Les Bleus have won just one of four games so far and can finish no higher than fourth following last week's loss to Ireland.

When is Italy vs France?

Italy vs France will take place on Saturday, March 16.

The match will kick off at 12.30pm UK time – 1.30pm in Italy.

It will take place at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome.

What TV channel is Italy vs France on and can I live stream it?

This match will be live on ITV.

Coverage will commence half an hour before kick-off at 12pm.

To stream the match live, go to the ITV Hub.

Can I watch Italy vs France for free?

Yes. ITV and ITV Hub live events are free for all UK viewers with a TV licence.

If you don't have a TV licence, you can purchase one for black and white TV for £50.50 and colour TV for £150.50.

Over 74s are entitled to a free TV licence.

Those without a TV licence can also watch highlights for free on the ITV Hub.

Team news

🔵 #Italrugby: la formazione in campo sabato con la Francia, per l'ultimo match degli Azzurri nel @SixNationsRugby 2019 ➡ https://t.co/YvAEWMPEKn#insieme #rugbypassioneitaliana @SeiNazioniRugby pic.twitter.com/eRKjI9vWCR

🇮🇹🇫🇷 Dernier match samedi à 13:30 au Stadio Olimpico de Rome pour votre #XVdeFrance ! Allez les Bleus ! #ITAFRA ! #NeFaisonsXV pic.twitter.com/IbHETdcWzM

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Protests and questions over killing of Senegal migrant Idy Diene

In a tragic turn, victim was murdered just over five years after his cousin was shot dead by a far-right gunman.

    Rome, Italy – As Italians woke up to election results on Monday, 54-year-old Idy Diene left his home in the town of Pontedera and headed into Florence.

    The 54-year-old migrated to Italy from Senegal 20 years ago, and eked out a living by selling accessories to passersby and tourists.

    Diene was selling his merchandise on the city’s Vespucci bridge when he was shot six times by Roberto Pirrone, a 65-year-old, unemployed, white Italian citizen who later told police he had intended to commit suicide.

    When he found himself unable to shoot himself, he said he fired on a random target. He was depressed and wanted to spend the rest of his life in prison, investigators told local media. 

    Police have ruled out a racist motive for the killing, but the Senegalese and Muslim communities are not convinced. They say the recent election stoked anti-migrant sentiment and believe Diene could have been targeted because he was black.

    His death has reopened old wounds.

    In December 2011, Gianluca Casseri, an author linked to a far-right group, killed his cousin, Samb Modou, and another Senegalese citizen at the market where they worked.

    In the years since, Diene took care of Modou’s daughter and his widow, Rokhaya Mbengue. Diene and Mbengue later married.

    She has now been widowed twice.

    “No ties have emerged with political groups, certainly not right-wing or racist. [Pirrone] was a firearm collector, and we found some memorabilia from the former Soviet Union at his home,” Giuseppe Creazzo, Florence’s chief prosecutor, told reporters.

    Mamadou Sall, member of Senegalese association in Florence

    After a rally calling for justice on Monday, Dario Nardella, the city’s mayor, tweeted, “The grief the Senegalese community is going through is understandable.”

    Some angry demonstrators had kicked over rubbish bins in the city centre. 

    “Whoever uses violence, wherever they are from, should face justice,” the mayor said.

    “We condemn this behaviour,” said Mamadou Sall, a member of the Senegalese association in Florence which had invited the mayor, referring to the bins being knocked down. 

    “On the other hand, we can’t believe that another, fellow Senegalese was killed, randomly. Every time by a crazy man. We are tired. When we leave home, we don’t know if we’ll come back. Security should be for everyone, including foreign citizens,” he told Al Jazeera.

    “It’s not the first time, and this makes us stop and think. Is it just that they are crazy, or is there racism behind it? [Diene] was shot by six bullets, not a flying one.

    “We’ve seen an electoral campaign based on hatred, racism and verbal violence; now we have seen the action. This is one of the reasons people are angry. This man left the house to commit suicide, and ended up killing a black man instead.”

    Election campaign marred by racism

    Izzeddin Elzir, the imam at the mosque Idy used to attend in Florence, and leader of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy (UCOII), called for politicians to exercise care in their campaign rhetoric.

    “What we know for certain is that there were several people on the bridge, but [Pirrone] killed a black man,” Elzir, who is originally from Hebron in the West Bank, told Al Jazeera.

    “Ours is an open-minded city, there is a dialogue. Italy is not a racist country. But, unfortunately, in the past two months of electoral campaigning, the political climate has been unhealthy, against [migrants], against whoever is different. When politicians don’t use words responsibly, we know that words can be worse than bullets.”

    One month ago, far-right gunman Luca Traini attacked a group of African migrants in a drive-by shooting in the central town of Macerata, wounding six. At the time of his arrest, he was draped in an Italian flag and greeted officers with a straight-armed fascist salute.

    Traini had links to self-described neo-fascist groups and had run in a local election as a candidate for the right-wing League party, which is headed by far-right politician Matteo Salvini, getting no votes.

     

    ‘We consider this our country now’

    Amnesty International, which monitored hate speech during the campaign, said migrants have been the top target, and named Salvini – who has previously claimed that Islam is “incompatible” with Italian values – as the main culprit.

    Diene’s killing came amid repeated attacks on an Islamic cultural centre in Padova between March 4 and 5.

    Police apprehended the suspect, a 57-year-old local, whom media said had no links to political groups.

    His motive, reports said, was an argument with one of the community members.

    “[The suspect] says it’s an act of revenge, that he had an argument with a neighbour,” said Ahmed Raudi, head of the “La Saggezza” (Wisdom) cultural association. “But I have friends living in that area, and no one seems to have had an issue with him.”

    Raudi told Al Jazeera that during the 2015 regional elections, someone had tried to break the centre’s windows.

    He explained, however, that the majority of people “understand we are well integrated and that we are not far from Italians in terms of mindset.

    “I have been here for 20 years, my children grew up here and I have many friends like that. We consider this our country now.”

    The National Office Against Racial Discrimination (UNAR, a government body) recorded 2,652 discrimination incidents in 2016, 69 percent of which were ethnically or racially-motivated.

    A national anti-racism demonstration has been announced for March 10 in Florence.

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    Davide Astori found dead, Fiorentina 'shocked'

    Italy international footballer Davide Astori has died after suffering a sudden ‘cardiac circulatory collapse’.

      Italy international defender Davide Astori has died in his hotel room during the night of Saturday, his club Fiorentina said on Sunday.

      “Fiorentina are profoundly shocked to have to announce the death of captain Davide Astori after a sudden illness,” the Serie A club said on Twitter. The 31-year-old, who leaves behind a two-year-old daughter, was in Udine to prepare for Sunday’s match against Udinese.

      Astori died of “natural causes” after a “cardiac circulatory collapse” – a type of heart attack – Antonio de Nicolo, an Udine magistrate, was quoted in Italian media as saying.

      The magistrate added that it was “strange that such a thing happened without any warning symptoms in a profession which is so closely monitored”.

      Astori’s body was taken to a hospital in Udine for an autopsy.

      Fiorentina’s game was called off in the morning. The early kick-off between Genoa and Cagliari, one of Astori’s former clubs, was abandoned when players learned the news while warming up on the pitch.

      The Italian league then postponed the other five Serie A matches scheduled for Sunday, including the Milan derby.

      Astori began his career at AC Milan, also playing for Cagliari and Roma before joining Fiorentina in 2015. He played 14 times for Italy.

      Former teammates, coaches and teams were among those taking to social media to express their grief.

      Gianluigi Buffon, the Juventus captain, called Astori “a great man”.

      ‘Tragic death’

      Buffon said he did not usually make a habit of expressing his feelings about others.

      “I want to make an exception to my rule because you have a young wife and others close to you who are suffering, but mostly because your little girl deserves to know that her dad was a good man … a great man,” Buffon wrote.

      Meanwhile, former Italy manager Antonio Conte, now in charge of Chelsea, was visibly upset as he paid tribute to Astori, before the Blues’ match with Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

      “This is a tragedy and it really hurts me. It’s very difficult at this moment to find the right words for the family,” Conte told Sky Sports.

      “I had him with the national team. He was a great player but especially a fantastic guy. I stay close to his wife, parents and daughter. He was only 31 and it’s very difficult to explain this situation.”

      Radja Nainggolan, a Belgian international who played with Astori at two clubs, posted a photo of the two of them joyously celebrating a goal at Cagliari.

      “A great player, but an even bigger man, so many battles fought together in Cagliari before coming to Rome, I cannot believe it,” he wrote.

      Astori’s formative club Milan also expressed their condolences.

      “A man who loved football and who grew up with us. AC Milan is shocked by the tragic death of Davide Astori,” the club’s official account tweeted in English.

      Matteo Renzi, a former mayor of Florence and now leader of the Democrat Party in Sunday’s Italian election, tweeted: “This seems to me impossible. I don’t believe it and I cry with the family and everyone at Fiorentina. Ciao capitano.”

      Paying our respects to Quini and Davide Astori. pic.twitter.com/KfTnTSetZV


      Inside Story

      Football racism row splits opinion in Australia

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      Italy election: Five Star Movement vows to not form coalition

      Italians are voting after a divisive campaign dominated by concerns over immigration and the economy led to an unpredictable contest.

        Polls have opened in Italy, but it could be some time before the country’s leadership is decided.

        None of the parties are expected to win the 40 percent needed to form a majority government.

        The anti-establishment Five Star Movement has topped opinion polls, but is vowing not to go into coalition with any of its rivals.

        Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee reports from Rome.

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        Stop justifying women-killers, Italy PM tells judges

        ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Thursday criticized judges who granted mitigating circumstances to murderers of women on the grounds they were blinded by jealousy or disappointment.

        Domestic violence is recognized as a serious problem in Italy, and this month two sentence reductions sparked outrage because judges cited the hurt feelings of men who had killed their wives or girlfriends.

        An appeals court in Bologna halved to 16 years the original sentence of a man who strangled his partner in 2016 gripped by what a court psychiatrist said was “an emotional and passionate storm”.

        The killer had found messages from other men on his partner’s phone and she told him she wanted to end their relationship.

        In another case in Genoa, a man who stabbed his wife to death was given 16 years, rather than the 30 years requested by prosecutors, with the judge saying the murderer was driven by “anger and desperation, deep disappointment and resentment”.

        The man had discovered his wife had not left her lover as she had promised.

        With women’s rights advocates up in arms, Conte, a trained lawyer, stepped into the debate with a post on Facebook saying that while judges must remain independent, such cases raised cultural issues he felt bound to comment on.

        “We must clarify with force that NO EMOTIONAL REACTION, NO FEELINGS, HOWEVER INTENSE, can justify or mitigate the gravity of femicide,” he wrote, using capital letters to ram home the message.

        In another contested ruling whose reasons were made public this month, an appeals court in Ancona overturned a rape conviction noting that the two suspects had found the victim too unattractive and “masculine” to want to rape her.

        Conte, who is not a member of either of the two ruling parties — the rightist League and the populist 5-Star Movement — said Italy must achieve a “cultural revolution” in its attitudes to women in order to build “a better society”.

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        Italian PM sets conditions over rail link to defuse crisis

        MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s prime minister said on Saturday tenders for a high-speed rail link to France could not be finalised without explicit government approval, buying time to defuse a dispute within the ruling coalition over the project.

        The multibillion-euro TAV link (Treno Alta Velocita) is backed by Matteo Salvini’s League party but strongly opposed by its coalition partner, 5-Star Movement, which argues that Italy’s share of the funding would be better spent upgrading existing roads and bridges.

        Tensions between the two sides had escalated ahead of a Monday deadline for the company overseeing the project, TELT, to launch tenders to carry out works on it, threatening to bring down the government.

        But Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a post on Facebook he had asked TELT to halt the finalization of tenders for the rail link because his government had committed to “totally re-discussing” the project.

        Conte published a response from TELT, which said it would call for expressions of interest from potential contractors for the French portion of the rail link on Monday, effectively launching the tender process, in order to avoid losing European Union funding.

        However, it said it would not proceed with the definition of contracts without the consent of both the Italian and French governments.

        Sources close to the matter said it normally takes six months between the launch of tenders and the next phase, when contract specifications are detailed.

        TELT also said in its response that it would insert in the tenders a clause that they could be revoked without penalties for the company or the two states involved.

        COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS

        Conte said that Italy would hold discussions with France and the EU in light of a recent cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the Italian government, which found the TAV was a waste of public money.

        The TAV is a joint venture between the Italian and French states to link the cities of Turin and Lyon with a 58-km (36-mile) tunnel through the Alps on which work has already begun.

        The EU has pledged to fund up to 40 percent of the costs of the TAV, Italy up to 35 percent and France up to 25 percent.

        Italy’s transport minister, a 5-Star official, puts the total price tag at more than 20 billion euros ($22.6 billion).

        His French counterpart, Elisabeth Borne, said on Friday the European Commission had let it be known it was willing to increase its share to 50 percent, leaving France and Italy to finance 25 percent each.

        An EU official has told Reuters the project could lose up to 300 million euros of EU funds if the tenders are not launched by the end of March.

        The long-running dispute suddenly escalated late on Thursday and raised the risk of a government collapse, with Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio — who is leader of the 5-Star Movement — accusing Salvini of acting irresponsibly by insisting the train link should go ahead.

        But on Saturday Di Maio said in a Facebook post that the dispute was “being resolved positively”, while Salvini sought to quell fears that the government could fall over the issue:

        “Italy needs a government … There won’t be a crisis,” he said in an interview with news channel Sky TG24.

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        Italy PM says is working to try to end sanctions against Russia

        ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday he was working to try to end international sanctions against Russia, which the ruling parties in Rome say are ineffective and hurt the Italian economy.

        Speaking at a foreign policy conference in Genova, Conte said the sanctions, imposed after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, must never become an end in themselves.

        When asked if Italy wanted them lifted, he replied: “We are working for this objective.”

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        Italy govt not at risk over Italy-France rail link: Di Maio

        ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s ruling coalition is not at risk of falling apart over a controversial Italy-France high-speed rail link that is causing tensions within the populist coalition, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday.

        The project, known as TAV and meant to connect the cities of Turin and Lyon, has been delayed for months because Italy’s ruling 5-Star Movement opposes it while coalition partner the League is in favor.

        The government is expected to take a decision by Friday.

        “Who is hoping the government will fall apart on this issue is wrong. We will find a solution,” Di Maio, who is also leader of the 5-Star, said in a interview with Radio Rtl 102.5.

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        Italy election: No party expected to gain majority

        Many analysts predict that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party is likely to be part of any potential coalition.

          Italians head to the polls on Sunday to vote in a hotly contested general election.

          Many analysts predict that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party is likely to be part of any potential coalition.

          Al Jazeera considers the impact of a hard right-wing coalition.

           

          Laurence Lee reports from Italy.

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          Italy economy minister says EU's bank bail-in rules should be scrapped

          ROME (Reuters) – Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Wednesday that European Union “bail-in” rules covering failing banks should be scrapped.

          Tria told parliament he agreed with comments by Antonio Patuelli, the head of Italy’s banking lobby, who earlier in the day said the rules should be abolished because they hurt the confidence of savers, and in any case had never been applied in Italy.

          Designed after the global financial crisis to shield taxpayers from costly bank bailouts, bail-in rules required investors in a bank to bear losses before public funds can be tapped.

          “Of course I share the opinion of Patuelli,” Tria told a Senate panel.

          He added that when the rules were introduced Italy’s economy minister had been “practically blackmailed” by his German counterpart and feared if he had not accepted them it would have sent a message that Italy’s banks were close to collapse.

          Tria’s office later issued a statement saying he regretted his “unfortunate” remark regarding blackmail.

          He said he had merely meant to describe an “objective situation” in which an Italian refusal to adopt the bail-in rules could have been interpreted as a sign that its banking system was in difficulty.

          “The minister did not intend to make a specific accusation either against Germany or against the German finance minister of the time,” the statement said.

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