‘It’s coming home – where?’ Six things Italy fans had to say ahead of the Euro 2020 final

From historical reminders to culinary corrections, here's what Italian football fans have been saying as they gear up for the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

'It's coming home - where?' Six things Italy fans had to say ahead of the Euro 2020 final
Photo: Carl Recine/POOL/AFP

Italian pre-match banter can appear overwhelmingly good-natured, especially to people from some other football-mad European countries.

Part of this apparent friendliness though may be down to the tendency of some Italian fans to ‘gufare‘, or to praise opponents before a match in the hope of ‘jinxing’ them.

Still, Italian fans had a few points they wanted to make to England supporters before the two teams meet at Wembley on Sunday night.

Florence FC questioned which “home” football would be coming to, given that the city’s famously rough calcio storico predates the more genteel modern game by several hundred years. 

Some also pointed out that even England’s red-and-white flag of St George’s Cross originated nowhere other than… Genoa.

Meanwhile others are less concerned with the score and more with the health of Italy’s popular 79-year-old president, Sergio Mattarella, who is expected to join the Italian contingent in Wembley on Sunday night.

With new cases of the Covid Delta variant in the UK climbing into the thousands, the hashtag “President stay at home” began trending on Twitter.

After all, Italy is supposed to keep church and state separate (Chiesa, “Church”, being the surname of one of the Azzurri’s wingers). 

And former England striker Gary Lineker failed to impress Italian Twitter when he posted a photo of his culinary tribute to Italy on Saturday.

And no doubt Italian fans will have a few more food-related messages for the English before the tournament is over.

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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

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.