In recent days players such as Napoli captain Marek Hamsik and AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Storari have been posting images on social media alongside their wives and girlfriends as part of the #unrossoallaviolenza (a red card against violence) campaign.

The photos show the footballer with a red streak down one cheek with his partner wearing bright red lipstick.

Roma's Radja Nainggolan and Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson were among the players on both sides sporting a red smudge on their cheek in support of the campaign during Saturday's early match against SPAL.

The 'Give violence against women the red card' initiative is being organised by the Lega Serie A and the players' association together with Italian humanitarian organisation WeWorld Onlus.

Players and referees at weekend games will be accompanied onto the pitch by girls and have a red mark smeared on their faces to raise public awareness of violence against women.

With AFP