Frankfurt fans clash with police ahead of Napoli match

NAPLES, Italy (AP) — There were serious clashes in the center of Naples between Eintracht Frankfurt fans and police ahead of the German team's Champions League match against Napoli on Wednesday.

Car windows were broken and fans hurled flares, chairs and other objects as innocent bystanders took shelter in bars and restaurants. A police car and other vehicles were set alight.

Police in riot gear eventually managed to calm the situation, shepherding the fans onto buses to take them to their hotels.

Further clashes were avoided as the majority of Napoli “ultras” were stopped from coming into contact with the German fans. They did throw stones and bottles at the buses, however.

Police had been on high alert in the Italian city — around 800 officers had been deployed — as more than 600 fans arrived from Germany despite Frankfurt forgoing its allocation of tickets for the round-of-16 match in protest. That number was boosted further by Atalanta ultras, who have a bitter rivalry with Napoli.

The German club was objecting to a decision by local authorities in Naples banning any fans who are residents of Frankfurt from buying tickets, following unrest between supporters during the first leg in Germany.

Napoli won that match 2-0 but local police made several arrests in the buildup amid altercations between fans.


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The Associated Press