Saturday, February 21, 2015

UPDATE - "The Unspoken War" That IS Soccer Violence: Rome Mulls Holding Dutch Soccer Hooligans Responsible for Damage


ROME – Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino were set to meet Friday to discuss holding Dutch soccer fans accountable for the damage to Rome’s heritage sites in clashes that took place between Dutch fans and Italian police.

Sources from the Italian Ministry of Interior told Efe that the meeting between the minister and the mayor was set for Friday without indicating exactly when it would take place.

Marino wrote on Twitter that Rome was “devastated and hurt” by the clashes between Dutch fans supporting Feyenoord and security forces deployed at the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, which resulted in damage to the square’s newly restored fountain.

After the incidents, the mayor conferred with municipal officials and the Dutch ambassador in Italy, Michiel Den Hond.

Marino suggested that passports be confiscated from Dutch fans involved in the clashes, asserting that such individuals are not welcome in Rome, and held the Netherlands responsible for paying for the clean-up, repairs and other expenses.

The mayor also expressed his dissatisfaction with the police and Roman officials who had insisted that “everything is under control,” and called on those responsible for the security of the capital to assume those responsibilities.

In statements to SkyTG24, Marino said that he has protested and demanded explanations from public security officials who allowed precious restored monuments, such as the Barcaccia fountain, to be a target for acts of violence.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also condemned the violence that took place on Thursday, and stressed that the government will punish “severely and harshly” Dutch fans who insulted civilization.

Over the past two days, Feyenoord fans have caused extensive damage in Rome in clashes with the Italian police, following Feyenoord’s 1-1 tie with Roma in the first leg of the round of 32 of the Europa League championship.

Thursday witnessed the most serious incident when fans hurled flares at police in the Piazza di Spagna.

Security forces responded with tear gas and were successful in dispersing them from the area, which was littered with garbage and broken glass bottles.

The recently restored Barcaccia fountain was damaged in several places and filled with glass bottles and other objects thrown into it by the Dutch fans.

On Wednesday, Italian police had arrested several Feyenoord fans on charges of causing public disorder in the Campo dei Fiori.


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