Match is day before Expo 2030 visitation.
Italian authorities have banned the sale of tickets to supporters of Dutch football club Feyenoord for the Europa League quarter-final clash against AS Roma in Rome on 20 April.
The widely-expected decision was made to avoid a potential repeat of the mayhem that occurred in 2015 when Feyenoord fans rioted in the historic centre of Rome before a Europa League match against AS Roma.
The move comes two weeks after Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri called on the interior minister to adopt a “very tough attitude” to protect the capital, noting that the match is scheduled on the eve of an inspection by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in relation to the capital’s bid to host Expo 2030.
Last September, when Piantedosi was the prefect of Rome, authorities banned the sale of tickets to Feyenoord fans ahead of a UEFA Cup match against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.
Last month ‘ultra’ supporters of German football club Eintracht Frankfurt rioted in Naples, ahead of a Champions League match against Napoli, leading authorities to introduce an alcohol ban for the international game between Italy and England in Naples.
On 19 February 2015, rioting Feyenoord supporters clashed with Rome police at the Spanish Steps and in Villa Borghese after spending the day drinking, in defiance of alcohol restrictions in place.
Rioters threw smoke bombs and smashed glass bottles against the 17th-century Barcaccia fountain, accredited to Pietro Bernini, who was possibly assisted by his son Gian Lorenzo.
The central part of the Baroque monument was damaged, with chipped fragments of the fountain visible in the waters along with glass bottles and trash dumped by the hooligans who also vandalised 15 city buses.
The travertine fountain, dating to 1626-29, had recently undergone a year-long restoration.
The clashes resulted in the arrest of 50 Feyenoord fans, with 18 people injured, including 13 police officers.
Last year a court in Rome found six Feyenoord fans guilty in absentia of vandalising the Barcaccia fountain, handing out sentences ranging from three years and eight months to four years.