Napoli 2 Arsenal 0: Arsenal to launch investigation into why away fans missed kick-off due to late arrival of 'safe buses'

Gunners' supporters were encouraged to use the organised buses after previous trouble with Napoli's 'Ultras' supporters but late departure meant hundreds missed kick-off at the Stadio San Paolo

Arsenal have launched an investigation into why hundreds of travelling supporters were delayed in getting to the Champions League Group F tie against Napoli on Wednesday night.

The Barclays Premier League club had warned their fans to take extra care in and around Naples following previous problems with the Italian side's hardcore 'Ultras' supporters.

Although special buses had been laid on to take Gunners supporters out to the Stadio Sao Paulo, so as to avoid known hot spots for trouble in the past such as the Forcella and Quartieri Spagnoli areas, many were delayed in leaving and caught up in traffic.

It resulted in several hundred missing the kick-off, with additional problems caused by late congestion outside the entrance gate.

Arsenal, who lost the match 2-0 and so finished second in their group after Borussia Dortmund's win in Marseille, have promised to look at the issues faced by their fans, many of whom used social media to highlight their experiences.

A club statement read: "We are aware of the problems our travelling supporters had on Wednesday night and in particular their late arrival at the game.

"We are very disappointed for our fans that they had a difficult evening but the circumstances were beyond our control.

"We have launched an investigation to work out precisely what happened."

The match was also notable for a protest by Greenpeace protesters, who abseiled down the main stand during the second half, unveiling a banner which read 'Giustizia per Cristian' - Justice for Cristian - in support of those detained by Russia following protests in the Arctic, specifically Naples man Cristian D'Alessandro.

Napoli fans were involved in violent clashes with their Marseille counterparts during their European tie in November, which resulted in both clubs being fined by UEFA, while a pie shop near to the Emirates Stadium was attacked by visiting Italian supporters when they played in London earlier this season.

Arsenal Independent Supporters Association had members at the match on Wednesday night.

Chair Lois Langton was not surprised to hear of security concerns from their travelling group, some of whom reported minor clashes with Napoli fans around the stadium.

She told Press Association Sport: "Until there has been a proper investigation as to what happened, it is too early to say precisely what went wrong.

"However, again, it is sadly not surprising for these sorts of issues to surface in Italy where visiting supporters are all too frequently subjected to violence, poor policing and stewarding and sub-standard conditions."

On the team's hopes for further progress, Langton feels Arsenal fans should remain positive.

She said: "While it was obviously disappointing to lose in Naples, when the group draw was made, few gave us a chance even to qualify, so it is no mean feat to have come through it.

"We often raise our game with a tough draw, like we did in 2006 against Real Madrid when not many pundits thought we would get past them and we went on to make the final."

PA

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
arts + entsJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

Life and Style
tech

Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
football

Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday

News
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married in Venice yesterday
peopleAmal and George Clooney 'planning third celebration in England'
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker