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Two English football fans are in an Italian hospital after being stabbed by Italian football hooligans in Naples.

The two men - a 53 year old and a 27 year old - were amongst hundreds of Liverpool fans in the southern Italian city to watch tonight's Europa League game between Napoli and Liverpool when they were attacked by the Italian football hooligans, who call themselves "Ultras." One of the victims was slashed across the buttock, which is an injury that the Italian Ultras like inflicting on opposition fans.

Italian police have admitted gangs of Napoli's Ultra fans actually went out hunting Liverpool supporters to attack in the city.

As well as attacks on Liverpool fans, Italian football hooligans also targeted tourists. A group of British tourists visiting Naples and not connected with the match were also targeted by a group of stone throwing youths as they ate in a pizzeria

The two were attacked in the historic city centre close to the infamous Forcella district, the heartland of the local Naples Mafia known as the Camorra.

Naples's football team, often known to English speakers as Napoli, the city's name in Italian, was founded by an English sailor in 1904.

Whereas English football fans are amongst the best behaved in Europe, Italian fans are amongst the worst. They are also notorious for their sickening racist abuse of black footballers during matches.

Just last week, a Euro 2012 match between Italy and Serbia was abandoned due to hooliganism. On that occasion Serbian fans clashed with police outside the stadium and threw flares onto the pitch in Genoa in the north of Italy (although, on a recent visit to Serbia since that incident, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, rather than attacking Serbia's fans mysteriously decided to condemn British fans for their hooliganism, even though they are now praised for their good behaviour wherever they go and had nothing to do at all with what happened in Genoa).

I can bet £100 that Napoli won't be banned from European tournaments. UEFA believes that only the English can be football hooligans. If the Napoli football hooligans had been Liverpool supporters, or supporters of any other English team, you can bet your life UEFA will slap a five year ban on all English teams from playing in European competitions as they did from 1985 to 1990 following violence from Liverpool fans (although English football hooligans only tended to throw a few cafe tables and chairs about. They never went out to stab and maim opposition fans).

Italian police admit Liverpool fans were targeted by 'Ultras' after series of attacks in Naples

By (the appropriately named) Nick Pisa In Rome
21st October 2010
Daily Mail

Italian police have admitted gangs of Napoli's hardcore 'Ultra' fans went out hunting Liverpool supporters to attack in the city.

Italian police and British consular staff in the crime-ridden southern port city said there had been a series of fights during the night.

In the most serious attack a 53-year-old man from Liverpool and a 27-year-old man from Blackpool suffered knife wounds after being slashed across the buttocks and upper thighs.

Buttock slashing is common in clashes with Italy's notorious 'Ultras' as it is not life threatening but painful and embarrassing for the victim.

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Police at a press conferene in Naples today show weapons and flags seized from Italy's notorious 'Ultras' following the violence

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Italian police show the pictures of three Napoli supporters believed to have been involved in the violence and, right, an officer shows a knuckleduster found on one of the Italian supporters

The two were attacked in the historic city centre close to the infamous Forcella district, the heartland of the local Naples Mafia known as the Camorra.

The area is blighted by crime and only locals go into the area with tourists strongly advised to avoid the district.

There were three arrests made after the attacks last night and police recovered an array of weapons and Ultra paraphernalia from the home of one.

Among the weapons seized were a baseball bat, several five-foot long aluminium bars with numerous strategically-placed screws protruding and a six-foot wooden plank.

'Ultras went out seeking English fans, absolutely,' said Filippo Bonfiglio, head of DIGOS, the local department which deals with terrorism and political activity.

'There are groups of violent supporters here in Naples so we could hypothesise something like this would happen but it was impossible to prevent every attack everywhere.'

Football violence in Italy is not uncommon, with an international fixture against Serbia abandoned earlier this month. On that occasion Serbian fans clashed with police outside the stadium and threw flares onto the pitch in Genoa.

In other incidents last night a 44-year-old man from Liverpool also suffered knife wounds after being slashed across the buttocks but he refused treatment.

In a nearby incident three Naples fans were arrested by police as they assaulted Liverpool fans with sticks.

Enlarge
Football violence in Italy is not uncommon, with an international fixture against Serbia (pictured) abandoned earlier this month. On that occasion Serbian fans clashed with police outside the stadium and threw flares onto the pitch in Genoa

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In training: Liverpool players in training at the Stadio San Paolo ahead of tonight's crucial Europa League match against Naples

Police said that a Naples local who tried to intervene and break up the fight was himself beaten by the thugs.

Furthermore, a group of British tourists visiting Naples and not connected with the match were also targeted by a group of stone throwing youths as they ate in a pizzeria. None were injured.

A spokesman for the British consulate in Naples said: 'We have had reports of various incidents across the city and three people have been stabbed.

'Two Liverpool supporters suffered knife wounds and will be kept in hospital for s few days and probably miss the match. Another supporter was also stabbed but he discharged himself because he wanted to go to the match.

'Three other fans suffered minor injuries after being assaulted and we are working with police to keep an eye on things.'

A Naples police spokesman said three local Italians had been held in connection with attacks. Officials say around 1,000 Liverpool supporters are expected at the match at Napoli's Stadio San Paolo. The two stabbed men were being treated at the city’s Loreto Mare hospital.

READERS' COMMENTS

strange how you never see these 'hard' ultras in return legs in england. that's where these cowards draw the line. scared or what?
- pat, hertfordshire
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Why havent they been banned by UEFA or FIFA, is it because theyre not English?
- Heinrich, Munich
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Yet again the Italians get away with it, ask any english fans who travel there, the police are nowhere to be seen.
- lancashire lass, bath
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1. Italy is nice (most parts anyhow)
2. Naples is a dump
3. Why are the English seen as the trouble makes at football games overseas?
4. The worst places are Poland, Italy, Greece and Turkey
- Danny, Folkestone, England


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Last edited by Blackleaf; Oct 21st, 2010 at 12:20 PM..