Monday, November 28, 2022

Albanian police clash with Italian and Dutch fans

TIRANA ( Associated Press) — At least 12 people, including 10 officers, were injured in clashes between police and Dutch and Italian fans on Tuesday, a day before the Europa Conference League final, Albanian authorities said.

Two groups of supporters of Feyenoord of the Netherlands and Roma of Italy clashed with the agents in different areas of this capital, while trying to advance towards the other area, the police said in a statement.

Dutch fans threw plastic and glass bottles, as well as other objects, at police officers. Italian fans used clubs and other objects to confront the authorities.

According to the police, 48 Italian and 12 Dutch fans, all “involved in violent acts”, were arrested.

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Feyenoord and Roma are traditional clubs with large fan bases, including some groups that have engaged in violence in the past. The groups were concentrated in different areas, one kilometer from each other.

Albanian authorities have taken a number of precautions to prevent what they have described as a car-free “holiday” in the city center from being ruined.

Wednesday, game day, was declared a holiday.

Up to 100,000 fans would attend Tirana, despite the fact that only about 4,000 tickets per club were allocated. The meeting will define the first champion of this new tournament, which is the third most important European club.

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The main sporting intention of the event is to give smaller clubs an opportunity to participate in international competitions.

The Tirana National Arena has a capacity of just under 20,000 spectators.

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