Champions League

Italians sorry for racist row

2012-11-23 19:34
Fan violence (AP Photo)

Milan - Italian football bosses have offered an apology for the violent anti-Semitic incidents which greeted Tottenham fans in Rome, leaving several supporters in hospital and causing uproar in the Jewish community.

The incidents marred Spurs' visit to the Italian capital for a Europa League game against Lazio on Thursday, prior to which fans of the London club were attacked in a pub by a group of around 40 thugs.

During the match some sections of the Lazio support brandished a banner which read "Free Palestine" and sang "Juden Tottenham" ("Tottenham Jews" in German) at the visiting fans, whose club have a historical Jewish connection.

Police have since arrested two of the assailants and charged them with attempted murder. Reports Friday said the pair are known to have connections with Rome's other Serie A club, AS Roma.

Italian football federation chief Giancarlo Abete said the gravity of the affair warranted an apology to Tottenham and the victims.

In a letter addressed to English Football Association chairman David Bernstein, Abate wrote: "I have already had the opportunity to publicly express my condemnation and outrage at what has happened.

"We would like to extend our apologies to all of the Tottenham fans and in particular to the families of the people involved.

"We are following the investigation closely and remain at the disposal of the authorities to help take this case forward."

UEFA have not yet commented on the matter but the FA said they would be sending a report on the match to European football's governing body.

"We were saddened and alarmed to see reports of violent incidents prior to the game as well as anti-Semitic chants," said a spokesperson for English football's governing body.

"The FA had a crowd control advisor present at the fixture who will provide an urgent report, which we will pass on to UEFA as a matter of priority."

Lazio have already been fined 32,500 ($51,800, 40,200 euros) by UEFA this season after fans directed racist monkey chants at Tottenham players during the reverse fixture in London in September.

Lazio, however, distanced themselves from the attack on the pub. Reports Friday said the men arrested by police, 26-year-old Francesco Ianari and 27-year-old Mauro Pinnelli, have links to Roma.

One of the victims of the attack, identified as Ashley Mills, had suffered cuts to the head and leg which left him in a serious condition in hospital although he is now reported to be out of danger.

Abate added in the letter: "Once again, unfortunately, football has been used as a vehicle by mindless thugs to express their racist and anti-Semitic views.

"This was unquestionably the motive behind this attack, which has damaged the image of our football and does not reflect the real tradition of warmth and hospitality of the city of Rome."

It is not the first time English fans have fallen victim to violence in the Italian capital.

Liverpool supporters were stabbed after a European Cup final win against AS Roma in 1984. Fans from Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Manchester United have since been attacked by hardcore "ultras" from both AS Roma and Lazio.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
27 September 2016
CSKA Moscow v Tottenham Hotspur, Arena CSKA 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Legia Warsaw, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Leicester City v FC Porto, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Juventus, Maksimir 20:45
FC København v Club Brugge, Parken Stadion 20:45
Sevilla v Lyon, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
28 September 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Barcelona, Borussia-Park 20:45
Celtic v Manchester City, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v FC Basel, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v PSV, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Napoli v Benfica, San Paolo 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Paris Saint-Germain, Vasil Levski National Stadium 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Bayern München, Vicente Calderon 20:45
Besiktas v Dynamo Kyiv, Vodafone Arena 20:45
18 October 2016
CSKA Moscow v Monaco, Arena CSKA 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Tottenham Hotspur, BayArena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Club Brugge v FC Porto, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Leicester City v FC København, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Sevilla, Maksimir 20:45
Lyon v Juventus, Parc OL 20:45
Real Madrid v Legia Warsaw, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
19 October 2016
FC Bayern München v PSV, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Manchester City, Camp Nou 20:45
Celtic v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v Ludogorets Razgrad, Emirates Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v Atlético de Madrid, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Basel, Parc des Princes 20:45
Napoli v Besiktas, San Paolo 20:45
01 November 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.