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The build-up to Napoli’s Champions League round of 16 second leg clash with Eintracht Frankfurt has been marred by violence and disturbances involving supporters and local police.
Frankfurt fans clashed with authorities in the centre of Naples on Wednesday afternoon after an altercation initially involving a group of home supporters
The streets were littered with debris after glass bottles were smashed, tables and thrown were launched and flares let off, while there was also significant damage caused to local shop fronts, cars and motorcycles.
There had been concerns that Frankfurt fans would attempt to incite trouble in Italy prior to their arrival in the country – there were issues before their first meeting in Germany – and authorities had attempted to implement a travel ban. But a legal appeal saw permission granted for those born or a resident of Frankfurt to purchase tickets.
Photos and videos circulating on social media have revealed the extent of the carnage caused, with at least 800 police officers deployed on the streets in a bid to combat the trouble, and it’s even been claimed that supporters of Atalanta have joined forces with Frankfurt fans to help them circumnavigate restrictions.
Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo pleaded with fans to behave and focus on succeeding on the pitch, saying the club can “make history if we manage to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time.”
He added: “We must all try to have a good day without disorder or quarrels with whoever arrives in the city. Not only at the stadium but in the streets, in the squares, everywhere.
“As your captain, I ask you not to fall into provocations. Let’s try to make tomorrow a day of celebration. We do not accept any provocation. Everyone in the stadium with serenity and joy.”