Italian police car torched during clashes.
Naples mayor Gaetano Manfredi blasted the “unacceptable scenes of devastation” caused by fans of the German football club Eintracht Frankfurt who rioted in the southern Italian city on Wednesday ahead of a Champions League match against Napoli.
The violence, which saw hardcore Eintracht fans clash with Italian police in the centre of Naples, was condemned “in the strongest terms” by Germany’s interior minister Nancy Faesar who wrote on Twitter: “Violent criminals and chaos destroy the sport”.
The violent scenes were also condemned by the German media including tabloid Bild which ran a newspiece titled “Champions League shame in Naples”.
Around 600 Eintracht fans arrived in Naples on Tuesday night despite Italian authorities banning them from attending the match due to concern over potential violence.
On Wednesday afternoon the fans pelted Naples police with smoke bombs, bottles, chairs and bins, setting fire to a police car during the clashes in Piazza del Gesù.
Eintracht Frankfurt fans clash with police in Naples ahead of the Champions League match against Napoli tonight.pic.twitter.com/h0x65Azp1e
— Nemo (@nemo.guide) March 15, 2023
Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy premier and leader of the right-wing Lega party, wrote on Twitter: “These are not fans, they are criminals. Who knows if in they would raise hell in the same way in Germany.”
The Twitter account of Salvini’s Lega called on the German government to pay for the damage caused, estimated at “€2-3 million” by Francesco Borrelli of the left-wing Alleanza Verdi e Sinistra.
Borrelli was among numerous politicians calling for urgent answers from interior minister Matteo Piantedosi over how it was possible that “this disaster” was allowed to happen, claiming it was could have been predicted.
Tutta la mia solidarietà alle forze dell’ordine e alla città di #Napoli per questi gravi episodi di violenza. Il divieto di vendita dei biglietti ai tifosi dell’Eintracht Francoforte non era un atto discriminatorio. Spero che questi criminali vengano consegnati alla giustizia. pic.twitter.com/5GdtELmrZR
— Antonio Tajani (@Antonio_Tajani) March 15, 2023
“All my solidarity with the police and the city of Naples for these serious episodes of violence” – wrote foreign minister and deputy premier Antonio Tajani on Twitter – “The ban on the sale of tickets to Eintracht Frankfurt fans was not a discriminatory act. I hope these criminals are brought to justice”.
Napoli beat Eintracht 3-0 in the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, reaching the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.
On Wednesday night and Thursday morning police escorted buses of Eintracht fans out of Naples, to Rome and Salerno, reports state broadcaster RAI.