11 football fans arrested in Italy ahead of Champions League match

Police had to step up on security around Naples' Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in the run-up to the game

File photo - Xinhua
File photo - Xinhua

ROME — Violence erupted among football fans before the UEFA Champions League match between SSC Napoli and FC Union Berlin on Wednesday evening, leading to the arrest of 11 Berlin supporters.

Naples Police Chief Maurizio Agricola said Wednesday that around 300 Union Berlin fans had damaged cars and storefronts around Naples’ Piazza Dante, leading to ten of the 11 arrests for “devastation of property”.

Separately, another Union Berlin fan was arrested for striking a police officer and resisting arrest.

“The aim of the German (fans) was to attempt to clash with the Napoli fans,” Xinhua quoted Agricola as telling a televised press conference. “But, fortunately, the police stopped the two sides from coming into contact.”

Police also stepped up security around Naples’ Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in the run-up to the game, as well as in the stadium itself.

There were no arrests of Napoli fans, and police said most of the aggression came from the visitors.

Both the Italian and German football leagues have a history of violent clashes involving fans.

The Champions League is Europe’s most prestigious international club championship. — Bernama-Xinhua

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