Monday, 1 September 2008

Outrage as Napoli fans cause disturbances

Italian government and sports officials have reacted with outrage today after the opening weekend of the Serie A season was marred by a section of Napoli fans rioting on the public transport system.

Napoli fansHundreds of Napoli supporters on their way to watch their team play Roma in the capital on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico caused havoc at Naples train station.

Reports say groups of supporters launched firecrackers, smashed windows, slashed seats open to one of the trains and caused damage to several other services. Four railway workers suffered minor injuries.

Rome's transport agency said some of its buses were also vandalised, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

While there was no reported trouble inside the Stadio Olimpico, police said five arrests were made near the stadium after the Roma-Napoli game, which ended 1-1.

The President of the Italian Football Federation Giancarlo Abete called for serious measures "against these delinquents who ruin the image of football on a national and international level. Football is not represented by these people."

"It should have been a beautiful day had these incidents not taken place," said Abete.

"We should not have to witness this type of thing. I feel angry and bitter. Now we must respond using institutions.

"We must learn from the calm atmosphere witnessed in the game between Fiorentina and Juventus, a traditionally difficult encounter."

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has condemned the behaviour of the fans who caused the disturbances.

"I am so deeply saddened by the incidents that occurred yesterday, that I can not find words to represent everything that I feel in my heart," he said.

Napoli fans may face heavy sanctions for the rest of the season including being barred from all away games.

Source: Sporting Life

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