Italian authorities clash with soccer fans ahead of Champions League match
Violence broke out in the streets of Italy on Wednesday ahead of a UEFA Champions League match between Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Police in Naples had been on high alert as more than 600 fans from Frankfurt, Germany, arrived despite the city forgoing its allocation of tickets for the round-of-16 match in protest. According to The Associated Press, the numbers were boosted by Atalanta ultras, who have a storied rivalry with Napoli.
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The German club was objecting to a decision by Naples authorities banning any fans who are residents of Frankfurt from buying tickets, following the unrest between supporters during the first leg of the Champions League in Germany.
It all came to a head Wednesday as car windows were broken and fans hurled flares, chairs and other objects as innocent bystanders took shelter in bars and restaurants.
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Police were in riot gear trying to quell the situation as several vehicles were lit up in flames.
“I’m monitoring what has happened on our streets. An unacceptable climate of guerrilla warfare,” Naples Mayor Gaetano Manfredi tweeted. “My thanks go to the police forces who acted to guarantee the safety of the citizens. I appeal to Neapolitans, be responsible.”
Italian media reported at least 200 people were arrested.
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The match would go on and Napoli would win 3-0.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.