Napoli blast hooligans after brawling fans cause motorway chaos

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 9 Jan, 2023 Updated Mon 9 Jan 2023 17:31 CEST
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Hardcore 'ultra' supporters of Roma and Napoli clashed at a motorway service station in Tuscany while travelling to different matches. (File photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

Napoli condemned "so-called supporters" who caused chaos on Italy's major A1 motorway at the weekend by fighting with fans from rival club Roma.


Napoli fans were travelling to Genoa to see their team beat Sampdoria 4-0, while Roma supporters were on their way to AC Milan where their team draw 2-2.

Hardcore 'ultra' supporters of both teams were involved in serious clashes on the A1 motorway on Sunday afternoon after they reportedly bumped into each other at the Badia al Pino Autogrill service station, near Arezzo in Tuscany.

Nicknamed the Autostrada del Sole, or 'sunshine motorway', the A1 runs from Naples to Rome and then through Tuscany all the way to Milan.


"Napoli strongly condemns the behaviour by so-called supporters, who unfortunately still attend football matches in Italy, which involved creating disruption and danger for true fans," Serie A leaders Napoli said in a statement. "They also struck fear into people on the A1 motorway who had nothing to do with football."

Videos posted on social media by public broadcaster Rai show dozens of supporters fighting with flares, belts and bats as police sirens blare in the background.

Italian media report police as saying that the running battles led to the motorway being blocked for 50 minutes, creating queues up to 15 kilometres long.

"It was a crazy act which put people travelling on one of the country's most important roads in serious danger," Roberto Rossi, chief public prosecutor in Arezzo, was quoted as saying.

Napoli highlighted how football hooliganism in England has been reduced since the 1980s, calling on the Italian government "to swiftly take appropriate measures of a radical nature".

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"It is unacceptable for violent people to travel across Italy and attend stadiums without any consequences," added Napoli.

Football Federation chief Gabriele Gravina said it was "shameful what happened", adding that "institutions can and must do more".

"These people have nothing to do with sport and should be punished," he said.

Football violence is nowhere near as widespread in Italy as it was in the past but on occasion high-profile clashes between fans put the issue back in the headlines.

In December 2018 a fan was killed by a passing van during a huge brawl between Inter Milan and Napoli fans just a few minutes walk from the San Siro.

In 2007 a Lazio supporter was killed during fighting at the same motorway service station.



AFP/The Local 2023/01/09 17:31

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madams99 2023/01/10 13:43
Hi, for context in relation to the last paragraph I think it is important to say that the supporter killed was shot dead by a policeman who was convicted and sent to prison

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