Violence erupted ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifying match between England and Italy in Naples, as fans clashed with police outside the stadium.
According to reports, an England fan was knocked unconscious after being struck by police in the chaotic scenes.
There had been concerns about potential violence surrounding the game, which was being held in a city known for its football-related violence.
The situation escalated as England fans struggled to gain access to the stadium due to the heavy police presence in the area.
50mins into the game in Naples tonight and England fans outside at the entrance to the ground with the Polizia 🏴🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/qmqPUQx5jA— 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐔𝐥𝐭𝐫𝐚 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 (@thecasualultra) March 23, 2023
Video footage showed baton-wielding officers charging at fans as they queued to enter the venue, resulting in clashes with some sections of the support.
Eyewitness reports claim that an elderly England fan was knocked unconscious by police during the chaos. It is unclear what led to the situation, with those present insisting that it was unprovoked.
The Mirror has reported that the situation soon became even more volatile, with Italian fans becoming agitated after an image was shared of an England supporter holding a flag that had an offensive message.
The individual in question had their ticket cancelled and was condemned by the Football Association, which released a statement denouncing the actions of the fan.
The statement read, “We strongly condemn the actions of the individual who travelled to Naples with a flag that had a highly offensive message on it.
We immediately took steps to have their tickets cancelled before the match. The matter will be reviewed further when we return to England.”
This incident highlights the need for better measures to ensure the safety of football fans during matches.
Football-related violence has been an ongoing issue in many countries, and it is essential that authorities take steps to prevent such incidents from occurring.
While it is important to hold individuals responsible for their actions, it is equally important to address the root causes of football-related violence, such as hooliganism and xenophobia.
England fans waiting to get in to European Championship qualifier against Italy in Naples charged by police. One fan injured after falling backwards. #england #ITAENG pic.twitter.com/pilgLGNo9C— David Cheeseman (@davidcheeseman) March 23, 2023
The violent clashes that occurred ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifying match between England and Italy in Naples are deeply concerning.
The incident serves as a reminder that football-related violence remains a significant issue that requires urgent attention from authorities.
It is crucial that measures are put in place to ensure the safety of football fans, and that steps are taken to address the root causes of such violence.
Only then can we hope to create a safe and enjoyable environment for football fans around the world.