Champions League: Eight arrested after fans clash with police in Naples

Smoke bombs, flares, chairs, bottles and metal poles were thrown at police in Naples' historic centre on Wednesday, as Eintracht Frankfurt fans descended on the city despite a ban.

Champions League: Eight arrested after fans clash with police in Naples
A police car burning as Eintracht Frankfurt fans clashed with police in Naples on March 15th, ahead of the UEFA Champions League match between SSC Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt. (Photo by Ciro FUSCO / ANSA / AFP)

Three German football fans and five Italians were arrested following violence in Naples before and after Napoli’s Champions League win over Eintracht Frankfurt, a local official said on Thursday.

Six police officers were injured in violence on Wednesday evening, according to Alessandro Giuliano, who is responsible for public safety in Naples.

Police were in the process of identifying 470 German fans who arrived in the city, and were scouring images to establish those responsible for the disorder, he told a press conference.

Dozens of supporters of Atalanta also joined forces with supporters of the German side, with whom they are twinned.

The first clashes occurred on Wednesday afternoon in Naples’ historic centre, and continued after the match, an easy 3-0 win for Napoli which took them through to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.

Smoke bombs and flares, chairs, bottles and metal poles were thrown at police, who responded with tear gas. Later, Napoli fans were filmed by Italian media throwing objects at buses carrying Eintracht fans.

Naples mayor Gaetano Manfredi condemned the “unacceptable” violence, while opposition politicians have questioned the government’s handling of the situation, notably by Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi.

Napoli player Juan Jesus said the disorder was “bad for the city, and bad for football”.

“Because people come, then destroy, then leave, it’s not a good thing. It’s not possible to still see this in 2023, we are sorry to see these scenes,” he said.

The German supporters had travelled to southern Italy, with many arriving in Naples by train, even though Eintracht decided against selling tickets for the away section in Naples for the second leg of the last 16 tie.

Eintracht Frankfurt fans clash with anti-riot police after arriving in Naples despite not having tickets for their team’s Champions League decider with Napoli. (Photo by Ciro FUSCO / ANSA / AFP)

The Frankfurt club decided not to take up their allocation after the Naples prefecture decided on Sunday to ban residents of the German city from buying tickets.

A earlier Italian ban on Eintracht fans who lived anywhere in Germany was overturned.

Sunday’s decision came after violence in the first leg that was won 2-0 by Napoli in Frankfurt, which led to nine people being taken into custody.

Eintracht fans have been under close surveillance by European governing body UEFA since the pitch invasion which greeted the club reaching the final of the Europa League, which they won by beating Scottish club Rangers.

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Naples bans sale of alcohol ahead of England-Italy match

Local authorities banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in central Naples throughout the day ahead of the arrival of some 2,500 England fans for Thursday’s European Championship qualifier.

Naples bans sale of alcohol ahead of England-Italy match

An order signed by the mayor of Naples prohibited the sale of alcoholic drinks in the area around the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium and other central parts of the southern Italian city of from 7am until midnight ahead of the Italy-England match on Thursday evening.

The alcohol ban was the latest safety measure reported after England’s Football Association on Tuesday warned fans not to bring belts or phone chargers to the match.

The FA published an advisory for fans stating that belts could be confiscated when passing through the policed ticket checkpoints at the stadium over concerns they could be used as a weapon.

READ ALSO: Champions League: Eight arrested after fans clash with police in Naples

Police in Naples said 23 buses would be laid on to transport some 2,500 England fans between the port area and the stadium as a safety measure, and a heavy police presence was expected around the port and seafront on Thursday according to Italian media reports.

Flags and scarves decorating a street in the Spanish Quarter district of central Naples. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

Concerns about potential violence around the match were heightened after German and Italian fans clashed with police in Naples last week following the Champions League match between Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt.

A planned friendly football match between England and Italy supporters was cancelled after Garford Beck, the boss of England men’s supporters’ team, said he received a “sinister” threat by email allegedly from Napoli ‘ultras’ or hooligans, Sky reported.