- Napoli played host to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt at Naples in the UEFA Champions League
- The pre-match preparations were marred with violence that saw the police in Naples intervene
- Napoli won the match 3-0, winning 5-0 on aggregate against the Germans
Violence and disturbances involving fans and local authorities marred the lead-up to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg match pitting Napoli against Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.
On Wednesday afternoon, Frankfurt fans and police fought in Naples’s centre following an altercation that started with some home fans.
Glass bottles were broken, tables were hurled, flares were set off, and there was significant damage to local storefronts, cars, and motorcycles. The streets were covered in debris.
Authorities had tried to enact a travel ban because there had been worries that Frankfurt supporters would try to start trouble in Italy before their arrival there (there had been problems before their first gathering in Germany). However, following a legal challenge, those who were born in or currently reside in Frankfurt were permitted to buy tickets.
Photos and videos circulating on social media have revealed the extent of the carnage caused, with at least 800 police officers deployed on the streets in a bid to combat the trouble, and it’s even been claimed that supporters of Atalanta have joined forces with Frankfurt fans to help them circumnavigate restrictions.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo, the skipper of Napoli, pleaded with the crowd to keep it civil and concentrate on the team’s performance, saying the club could “make history” if we managed to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time.
“We must all try to have a good day without chaos or arguments with whoever arrives in the city,” he continued. not just at the arena but also everywhere else—in the streets, the squares, etc.
“As your captain, I ask you not to fall into provocations. Let’s try to make tomorrow a day of celebration. We do not accept any provocation. Everyone in the stadium with serenity and joy.”