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
A police car burning as Eintracht Frankfurt fans clashed with police in Naples on March 15th, ahead of the UEFA Champions League match between SSC Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt. (Photo by Ciro FUSCO / ANSA / AFP)

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.

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Italian police officers investigated for beatings and torture of suspects

Five police officers in northern Italy have been placed under house arrest pending an inquiry into allegations they beat and tortured detainees, most of them foreign nationals, newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Italian police officers investigated for beatings and torture of suspects

An inspector and four officers in Verona, northeast Italy, are accused of beating and insulting people held in custody, La Stampa daily reported.

A dozen of their colleagues are also under investigation for having allegedly done nothing to stop the abuse, the report added.

La Stampa cited a former prisoner, a Romanian, who said officers had forced him to urinate in a corner of his cell at a police station in Verona, having refused to let him use the toilet.

Afterwards, they beat him up and dragged him over the floor where he had had to urinate, to punish him.

“If these facts are confirmed, it would be enormously serious,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said Wednesday.

READ ALSO: ‘Treated like a dog’: Transgender woman sues over Italian police brutality

Such conduct damaged “not just the dignity of the victims but also the honour and the reputation” of thousands of honest police officers, he added.

Late last month, a Brazilian transgender woman sued police officers in Milan for alleged brutality, after they beat her in an incident recorded in a video that went viral online.

It showed three officers using their batons to strike the 41-year-old on the head and in the ribs while spraying her with tear gas as she sat in the street, her hands raised.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the incident.