Saturday, December 10, 2022

Albanian police deport dozens of football fans after clash

TIRANA, Albania ( Associated Press) – Dozens of football fans have been sent back to Italy after violent clashes in Tirana ahead of Wednesday’s Europa Conference League final, Albania’s deputy chief of police said.

Italian club Roma will face Dutch team Feyenoord in a match at the 20,000-capacity National Arena.

Two separate groups of Dutch and Italian fans clashed with police in the city on Tuesday, injuring 19 officers and five Albanian citizens. A police officer was injured in the knife attack, officials said.

Three Italian fans and two Dutch supporters were also injured.

On Wednesday, Deputy Police Chief Albert Darvasi called on “Italian and Dutch fans to behave and act as European citizens, respect the laws of the country and not conflict with the police, or enforce the laws strictly.” Will go.”

Darveshi said 48 Italian fans and 12 Dutch supporters were detained, with anyone arrested could face up to seven years in prison. He said 80 fans were sent back to Italy.

The police officer called on businesses to avoid giving out glass bottles to customers and warned Tirana residents to avoid “provocations from individuals or groups of fans who are under the influence of alcohol”.

“We are determined to guarantee order and safety to prevent destruction of property and the normal holding of sporting activity,” Darveshi said.

Feyenoord and Roma are storied clubs with large fan bases. For the inaugural final of the third-tier European tournament, Tirana expects 100,000 fans, despite each club being allotted only 4,000 tickets.

There are separate “fan zones” for each club, only one kilometer (0.6 mi) apart.

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