Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Rome warning angers Mayor

Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni has noted his irritation towards the warning which Manchester United issued to fans ahead of their trip to the Italian capital.

United face the Giallorossi at the Stadio Olimpico tonight in the Champions League, just days after the English club’s website published a letter advising their 4,000 travelling supporters of no-go areas in town.

"These comments from Manchester are unfortunate, unpleasant and they are also dangerous because they can create a negative climate," said Veltroni.

"I regard the letter as very unpleasant and I would like to assure Manchester United fans that they are welcome in our city.

"The true image of Rome is very different to how it has been portrayed by their club."

Veltroni was so annoyed with the situation that he has lodged an official complaint to the city’s British ambassador, Edward Chaplin.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has tried to diffuse the incident by confidently insisting that he expects the tie to pass without any trouble.

"We always issue a letter to our fans for every away trip," noted the Scotsman. "More importantly, the Italian police have been very communicative with our people.

"Hopefully, everything will be okay. I don’t anticipate trouble but the Italian police are very experienced and I think they can deal with it."

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