Four Lazio fans stabbed

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The Independent Online
Four Lazio supporters were stabbed and slightly injured by rival fans near Rome's Olympic stadium prior to an Italian Cup match last night, police reported.

"They were hit in the rear. They were not injured seriously. However, it's a worrying sign about continuing violence in soccer," a Rome police officer said.

The attack happened just over a month after the stabbing to death of a fan in Genoa, which led to the suspension of all Italian sports for one Sunday, on 5 February.

The Lazio fans, four soldiers out of uniform, were attacked as they were purchasing scarves with their team colours before the kick-off of the Italian Cup first-leg semi-final tie between Lazio and Juventus.

Newcastle's Belgian international defender, Philippe Albert, who suffered a serious knee injury in training last December, said yesterday that he expected to be fit in just under three months. "At the end of June I should be ready to play," Albert told the Belgian newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad.

Albert, who underwent surgery on the knee in January, said he would return to Newcastle on Sunday to work on his recovery programme.

The Istanbul club, Fenerbahce, have threatened to withdraw from the Turkish League in protest over the referee's decisions in last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Trabzonspor.

Fenerbahce alleged that the referee, Blent Yavuz, had unfairly sent off one of their players and attempted to assure that Trabzonspor gained a draw. However, the club's threats have not been taken seriously by Turkey's football authorities.

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