What We're Reading

Another Outbreak of Violence in Rome

  • Goal.com, Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:03 PM
It was a meaningless game, Wednesday's Champions League clash between Group F qualifiers Manchester United and host Roma, but nevertheless, violence broke out before the two sides played to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico. Five Manchester United fans were stabbed, while seven needed treatment at the hospital. This was the third time in succession that English supporters had come away from Rome with injuries. Last April, 18 Manchester United fans needed hospital treatment after police tried to break up United and Roma supporters during a Champions League quarterfinal. A year earlier, Middlesbrough fans were stabbed and others injured in a UEFA Cup match.

Because of its history of violence, Councillor McLuckie of the UK's Cleveland Police Authority said Roma should be thrown out of Europe altogether. "[Roma] should not be involved in the Champions League or the UEFA Cup, and that should be the case until they clean up their act," he said. The authorities also prove that fans can safely attend games at the Stadio Olimpico.

McLuckie pointed out that English clubs were once given a five-year European ban for hooliganism, a punishment that he says was pivotal in getting British police to successfully tackle the problem. "We have a real grip on this kind of thing and I know the British police would be happy to give the Italian authorities any help they require," he said. "At the end of the day, the authorities in Rome have failed to keep control of these fans time after time after time, and the Italian authorities as a whole must get in there."

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