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Hooligan chaos fears as ultras from West Ham and Lazio join...
FEARS of soccer yob mayhem led by “twinned” hooligan firms spiralled today ahead of tomorrow’s European Championship qualifier between Italy and England in Naples.
Sources in Rome reported English West Ham thugs had arrived in the Italian capital and had joined “ultra” comrades from the city’s Lazio club.GettyUltras linked to Serie A team SS Lazio are backing English supporters ahead of Thursday’s big game[/caption] The hooligans from Lazio have a notorious reputationAP:Associated Press Corbis - GettyThe football mad fans use all sorts of weapons including bottles to quell their rivals[/caption]
Police and security forces were said to be on “maximum alert” amid reports the teamed-up troublemakers were heading 140 miles north east to Naples.
Hammers hoolies and Lazio ultras were planning to ambush fans of Lazio’s hated rivals Napoli ahead of the England game, it was claimed.
Corriere dello Sport, Italy’s leading sport paper, reported sweaters bearing West Ham logos were seen on Sunday when violence erupted at Lazio’s derby game against Roma.
It could not be verified that the wearer of the Hammers shirts were English – but the paper reported authorities were taking the threat of further coordinated violence in Naples seriously.
Corriere dello Sport reported: “Some West Ham sweatshirts were glimpsed in the scuffles near the Ponte della Musica … the threat could still materialise in Naples between Italy and England.”
According to Football LDN, West Ham and Lazio supporters have a strong alliance.
It was formed after the two football heavyweights began planning pre-season friendlies against each other in 2019.
The clubs have also been successful in trade negotiations seeing players such as Paolo Di Canio, Ravel Morrison and Felipe Anderson playing for both sides in the past.
However, if the claims are true, the coalition of supporters could walk into a cauldron of violence.
Only last week, 470 Eintracht Frankfurt ultra fans – who had been banned from Naples’ Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for a Champion League match against Napoli – ran riot.
Cars were set on fire and cops pelted with missiles as they struggled to separate the Germans from 300 Napoli Ultras, who also turned on security forces.
In September 2019, two Liverpool fans were hurt by flying bottles hurled by Napoli yobs – who are famed for cowardly “calling card” knife attack to their victims’ buttocks.
But Italy’s soccer federation decided to stage the Three Lions’ crucial Euro qualifier in Naples – their first match since the Qatar World Cup – despite security concerns.
Are you a fan in Naples? Have you seen any fan violence or are you aware of any hooligan threats? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or WhatsApp 07741005808 for free if you have any information.APIt has been reported that West Ham hoolies have landed in Rome[/caption] Social MediaA picture from a fans’ forum showed the two clubs sharing a “coalition” flag at a match in 2013[/caption] Social MediaThe flag incorporates the West Ham “hammers” and the Lazio badge[/caption] The Hammers’ fans don’t shy away from confrontation and are said to be taking on the Napoli UltrasRichard Pelham / The Sun
And around 2,500 England fans are due to begin arriving in Naples today ahead of the big game.
The Corriere dello Sport report added: “The gaze of the Ministry of the Interior is directed already at Thursday’s match when over two thousand English fans will be in Italy.
“It is feared that someone might give life to a new urban warfare as happened in Naples with the Eintracht Frankfurt fans.”
Naples’ Il Napolista newspaper added: “West Ham ultras are already in Rome, preparing for guerrilla warfare in Naples.
“The alert for the match between Italy and England at Maradona is maximum.
“What is especially worrying are the ultras of West Ham, twinned with those of Lazio, who attempted to attack the Roma fans.
“They remained in the city because they intend to provoke clashes in Naples too, on the occasion of Italy-England.”
Describing West Ham yobs’ alleged involvement in trouble before the Lazio v Roma game on Sunday, Il Napolista said: “The fuse off the pitch was lit before the initial whistle.
“During the influx of fans at Ponte della Musica, Lazio supporters together with some West Ham fans – who have always been twinned with the Biancocelesti (Lazio fans) – risked coming into contact with the Roma fans.
“Danger was thwarted by the timely intervention of the police.”
Lazio’s feared ultras were also reported to have been joined by other “twinned” yobs from across Europe who connect using social media and the dark web.
Levski Sofia in Bulgaria and Real Madrid have ties with Lazio while Roma were said to be backed by foreign legions from Dinamo Zagreb and Atletico Madrid.
Security concerns rose after a “friendly” football match between England and Italy supporters was axed on Monday after notorious Naples hooligans warned they would launch an attack.
The game was due to be played before tomorrow night’s Euro qualifier clash with Italy in the crime-plagued the Italian city.
But Italian “ultra” yobs emailed the England fans’ team boss warning 60 soccer savages would “get them” – forcing the game to be called off.
Garford Beck, the boss of England men’s supporters’ team, said the threatening email he received read: “You advertise this game for us to see where you’ll be – we will be there.
“60 ultra to get you. Be warned.”
Mr Beck said he asked his Italian counterpart to show the email to Italian authorities and the game was called off after security chiefs responded: “We are very concerned.”
The Italian Football Federation has now informed Mr Beck the game has been cancelled after pleas from the English FA.
Mr Beck said: “They are treating it very seriously and have judged it to be a viable threat.
“Safety has to be our priority and we would have been an easy target for these people.
“They normally come tooled up to the hilt so it could have been a very nasty situation had I not opened that email.”
Mr Beck said England fans had played their Italian counterparts in Milan in September last year – to coincide with a Nations League game – without any issues.
He said: “There’s been no hint of anything until I opened that email.
“We’re just out there to get together with whoever it is we’re playing, have a game of football, have a few beers and go off to the match, it’s nothing more than that really.”AFPThe hooligans linked to Napoli are known for their extreme violence[/caption] GettyLast week in Naples, German fans were rolled by Napoli ultras after a Champions League match[/caption] The carnage spilled onto the streets of Naples following a clashRex Cars were torched and shop fronts were vandalised near Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, NaplesRex Hooligan chaos fears as ultras from West Ham and Lazio join forces to ambush Napoli fans ahead of England’s Italy clash
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