Tottenham visit triggers 24-hour lock down in Florence and 1,000 extra police for Europa League tie with Fiorentina

Spurs manager Maurico Pochettino defends the club's supporters

Maurico Pochettino has leapt to the defence of Tottenham fans after authorities in Florence prepared for a 24-hour lock down ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie.

Perhaps unnerved by events in Rome last week, where Feyenoord supporters wreaked havoc on the Eternal City, Florentine officials have imposed a city-wide alcohol ban as Fiorentina and Tottenham prepare to play for a place in the last 16.

About 1,300 police will be deployed in the centre of the city and close to the stadium, which is about 1,000 more than is customary for an Italian league game. For 24 hours from midnight on Wednesday, the authorities have instructed bars and supermarkets in the city not to sell alcohol. About 2,200 Tottenham fans are expected to make the trip.

But Pochettino insisted: “Our fans are very respectful. In the games we’ve played before in th Europa League, in Cyprus, Serbia, Greece and Turkey, the behaviour of our fans was and there were no problems. Tomorrow is a day for our fans to enjoy the game.”

On the high police presence, Pochettino added: “I think it’s maybe better to be careful but our supporters’ behaviour was fantastic for the last three games behaviour was fantastic.”

 

Pochettino has brought a strong squad to Italy, leaving only Brad Friedel, Etienne Capoue, Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor behind from his first-team squad.

As revealed by the Evening Standard on Tuesday, Tottenham will stay in Italy on Thursday and train there on Friday.

Pochettino believes this will give his players the best chance to recover for Sunday’s Capital One Cup Final against Chelsea at Wembley.

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