Trouble In Rome - What Really Went Wrong?

Bloodied and bruised fans arriving back from Manchester United's Champions League clash in Rome have spoken of their anger at Italian police.

A number of United fans were taken to hospital, three with stab wounds, and some were arrested after clashes with police and Roma fans on Wednesday.

Some supporters arriving at Manchester Airport were bandaged and others had head wounds.

"The police were beyond control," said one eye-witness.

During the game, which Roma won 2-1, both sets of fans could be seen throwing missiles at each other.

Uefa has announced an investigation into the crowd trouble at the Stadio Olimpico, although United fans claimed it was Italian police who made the situation worse.


The doctor said I was very lucky to be alive - I was 2cm away from being dead

Manchester United fan

Stephen Fitzsimons 

The Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMSA) led the condemnation of police for what it said were "hideous" attacks on fans.

Spokeswoman Carly Lyes, 23, said: "There was no need for the brutal level of violence they showed.

"The police charged in from all angles and were hitting people indiscriminately.

"They didn't care who got hurt. People were running all over the place trying to get away. It was chaos."

Businessman Stephen Fitzsimons, 53, from Stretford, Greater Manchester, was knifed in the groin as he made his way to the ground with three friends.

He was taken to hospital and twice underwent emergency surgery to control his bleeding.

Mr Fitzsimons, who hopes to be released from hospital on Saturday, told BBC Radio Manchester: "No police have been to see me,  it's disgusting.

"The doctor said I was very lucky to be alive - I was 2cm away from being dead."

Some witnesses inside the ground spoke of terrified women and children running away from the police during one baton charge, while a disabled man was reportedly knocked out of his wheelchair.


I've been following United for 30 years across Europe and I've never seen anything like it

Steve Morris, from Stretford

Uefa to investigate Rome violence 

BBC correspondent Christian Fraser, who was in the stadium, said trouble flared after Roma fans ran towards the perspex partition which separated the supporters.

He said Manchester United fans reacted and the police moved in with their batons in a response that was "at best robust and in some cases some officers went completely over the top".

Source: - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/6528597.stm

7 answers

Manchester United fans as we all know are calm people.


Royalty that could not find her feet.


Manchester United fans are more civilize and mature than the AS Roma fans. What we witnessed after the previous match wasn't an epitome of civilization at all. The Italian mafioso displayed what they are reputed for.I pray violence does not break out after our victory today.


There will be extra police at Old Trafford tonight after fears of revenge attacks on Italian fans.

Around 3,000 followers of Roma were expected at Manchester Airport on 14 chartered flights for the Champions League quarter-final second leg match against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Last Wednesday's first leg saw violent scenes in and outside the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as United fans were ambushed by knife-wielding thugs and beaten by riot police.

Reds officials described the police actions as "indiscriminate" and "a severe over-reaction".

And now it has been confirmed there will be extra police on duty amid fears of revenge attacks on Italian fans by their opposite numbers.

There have also been suggestions that Roma 'Ultras', will travel to Manchester to exploit the tension and cause further mayhem.

The first flight from Rome arrived at 9am on Tuesday, with 341 fans on board. Thirteen more flights were arriving at intervals, mainly during the afternoon, until 6pm on the night.

Italian fans were being bussed from the airport into the city centre on 42 coaches.

The airport has employed Italian-speaking staff to help direct away fans when they arrive and depart.

UEFA have launched investigations into the trouble last week in Rome.

There was more violence in Seville a day later involving police and Tottenham fans.

A GMP spokesman said of Tueday night's match: "There will be an operation in place to ensure the safety of all fans, club staff and other members of the public.

"We have experience in policing high-profile matches and we will have the appropriate resources in place."

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he did not anticipate any trouble, and insisted that Roma's 3,800 travelling fans have nothing to fear.

But the Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association issued a statement urging fans to remain peaceful.

It read: "We all need to make sure that there are no headlines in Manchester, to wipe out the memory of those made by the Italian police last week in Rome.

"The Roma fans at Old Trafford will be just like most of our fans who went to Rome last week and will be there only to watch the football."

Stephen Fitzsimons, who was stabbed in the groin by Roma hooligans last week, said he hoped for a peaceful match but feared that some Italian fans may be looking for trouble.

He said: "People say the hardcore element of Italian clubs don't travel, but I flew back two days ago and saw a few cocky Roma fans on the plane, who seemed to be sneering at us.

"I hope it goes off peacefully because any reprisals would probably be on innocent people, and I don't want anything to happen which the Roman authorities could use as justification for what they did to us.

"The best revenge would be for United to beat them on the pitch and knock them out of the cup."



Yeah lets see what UEFAs result will be.


I think the problem is with the English fans. they are always causing problems anywhere they go to remember Leeds-Galatasaray, Euro 2000, France 98, Heysel Belgium, If you think the Rome police were over the top the same scenario happened in Seville, Tottenham against Sevilla.

At least Bayern Munich played in Italian soil a day earlier and nothing happened between the fan and police why is it always England and English teams.

Platini should do something about these hooligans from England probably ban any team whose fans cause problem for 2 years from Europe.



After the controversy stirred up in Rome before last night’s match by Manchester United’s warning to their supporters about the dangers posed by the fans of AS Roma, it was predictable that the Champions League quarter-final, first leg at the Olympic Stadium would prove memorable for the wrong reasons.

Rome’s mayor and chief of police had taken exception to the warnings issued by Manchester United of possible attacks by Roma Ultras and fan websites had filled up with outraged remarks that took little account of the violent history of Roma supporters.

Squads of Carabinieri were highly visible in the piazzas and streets of the city centre during the afternoon, ostensibly to prevent confrontations between rival groups of fans. United supporters seemed unconcerned about the alleged dangers, sporting their replica shirts. They might have been less at ease if they had known that as much danger to their safety would come from those dressed in the black of the security forces as from those in the maroon and gold colours of Roma.

The police were out in even greater numbers at the ground, with riot shields and batons, but they were apparently unable to prevent locals from ambushing about 300 United fans on a bridge over the River Tiber close to the stadium, making a mockery of advice that there would be safety in numbers.

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Comment: History of violence demands action now

Italian press keep eye on the ball

If the visiting team’s spectators imagined that they would be safe once inside the stadium, they were mistaken and unaware of the history of policing in this venue. Most of the 4,900 United fans who had bought tickets through the club were corralled into a red wedge in a corner of the stadium, well away from the Curva Sud, the Roma fans’ traditional end, which was almost full two hours before kick-off. However, the Curva Nord, the Lazio end when the other Rome club are using the stadium and well within a bottle’s throw, was also populated with home fans.

The United supporters could not be accused of playing it safe, chanting “Lazio” in a bid to make themselves as unpopular as possible. The announcer had hoped that spectators would enjoy a “nice evening of sport” but also read out dire warnings from Uefa of the consequences of violence. The referee, she said, had the authority to suspend the match if violence broke out. They were to prove empty words.

The violence started in earnest when Roma took the lead after 44 minutes. Until then, a few stray missiles had been thrown between the rival fans, but Taddei’s effort sparked off a more concerted aerial assault from both sides. Appearing to ignore any wrongdoers among the home team’s fans, the Carabinieri baton-charged into the United enclosure, lashing out, apparently indiscriminately. Several United fans were left bleeding profusely from head wounds and one fan was seen on the ground with blood coming from his forehead. The man was led away from police by other supporters.

Some of the United fans gave as good as they got and others responded by hurling more missiles into the onrushing uniformed ranks, but most were forced to attempt to leap over seats to safety. Some managed it, but many others could not.

The referee, Herbert Fandel of Germany, probably did not see what was happening in the United section. So we will never know whether he would have had the courage to suspend play because of violence perpetrated by police rather than so-called hooligans.

Viewers at home, however, had a close-up and television pictures showed fans repeatedly beaten by the police as they lay on the ground. “They [the police] are not preventing it, they’re fuelling it,” David Platt, the former Juventus midfield player, who was summarising for a television company, said.

Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, who can be as outspoken as anyone when it suits him, declined to comment on anything other than footballing matters afterwards. As he spoke, the United supporters were being kept in their places for 90 minutes after the final whistle. The expression “insult to injury” springs to mind.

Supporters condemn scenes

Manchester United supporters on the web reacted with understandable dismay to the television pictures of the violence in the first half at the Olympic Stadium in Rome and even rival supporters felt sympathy

“They should sue the cops”

Asian, Redissue, United forum

“Platini was a player with great vision on the field, bet he chooses not to see the police violence”

Aphextwiner, Redissue, United forum

“I actually feel a touch of sympathy for them [United]. Roma’s fans and the Italian police are scum”

Bass Man, RAOTL, Liverpool forum

“Totally over the top policing by the Italians”

Ridersonthestorm, Arseonline, Arsenal forum

“Manchester United fans should have all our support. That was disgusting. We should stick together on this one. We are all fans


Its so sad.

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