Europa League: Fans stabbed in Rome ahead of Sevilla-Lazio
The scenes in Rome went out of control after 40 people were involved in a clash ahead of the Europa League tie between Lazio and Sevilla. Unfortunately, two Spanish fans and an American were stabbed. One person, who is believed to be Spanish, has been seriously injured. This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred before a high-octane football match.
According to a report in La Repubblica, one local bar owner said, "Everything was quiet, when suddenly we heard shouting and the sound of broken glass. We rushed to the window and saw guys with hoods armed with clubs and batons that were attacking other guys." The clashes took place in the Monti area in the heart of Rome.
A Spanish fan, who is critically injured, is being treated in the Santo Spirito hospital. The other Spaniard and the American were comparatively less injured. Some reports state that a British man and an Italian too were stabbed. One fan dragged himself bleeding along the street to ask for help. A local journalist also tweeted saying, "It was like a war."
Meanwhile, both the clubs had been in contact during the days leading up to the match. The idea was to try and avoid any sort of altercation. Sevilla President Jose Castro arrived in Rome on Wednesday and said that some 2,000 Seville fans had traveled to Rome. The Police is said to be investigating the incident and the cause behind the same.
Meanwhile, Spanish fans have to meet in Piazzale delle Canestre and from there a public bus service will accompany them to the stadium. "It is also recalled that in the central areas in Piazzale delle Canestre and in the streets adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, the sale of bottled beverages is prohibited, as well as the transport of beverages in glass containers," Sevilla said.
The first leg of this round of 32 clash will be held tonight at 11:25 PM (IST). This is the first competitive clash between Lazio and Sevilla. The match will be played at the Stadio Olimpico.