Football fans once again came under the spotlight on Thursday after violent clashes between Rome's riot police and Feyenord supporters caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the Italian capital's city centre.
In total, 22 Feyenord fans were arrested and eight were charged as violence hit Rome ahead of the Dutch side’s Europa League clash with AS Roma on Thursday night. Six police officers required medical attention after projectiles and smoke bombs were thrown at them, while one of the city’s most fountains, the Fontana della Barcaccia, was filled with beer bottles and defaced with Feyenord stickers.
Images taken during the aftermath of the violence showed bloodied and handcuffed Feyenord fans being arrested by riot police.
The Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, said the city was “hurt” by the violence and the city’s iconic Spanish Steps had been "devastated" by the estimated 6,500 Feyenord fans that had travelled to watch the game.
The Mayor said he had contacted the Dutch ambassador and demanded an explanation for the “unacceptable behaviour”, saying that “Romans would not pay for the damage”.
A spokesperson from the Dutch embassy in Rome responded by saying that there was “no place for violence in football” and that it would co-operate with Italian authorities to punish the perpetrators. Of the eight charged last night, Italian judicial forces confirmed that they would be handed six months’ jail time, or face paying a €45,000-euro (£33,175) fine.
Following the violence, Uefa said that they would investigate any violence that had occurred in or around the ground, but said any violence that occurred in the city was outside of their remit and could not be pursued by Europe’s main football body.
When Feyenord fans did eventually reach the ground, they saw their side come from one-nil to draw one-one after Colin Kazim-Richards goal 10 minutes into the second half cancelled out a Gervinho’s first half opener.Reuse content