Frankfurt fans clash with police in Naples

Eintracht Frankfurt fans march through the streets of Naples ahead of the Champions League round of 16 match between Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (Alessandro Garofalo/LaPresse via AP)

NAPLES, Italy (AP) — The center of Naples was the focus of serious clashes between Eintracht Frankfurt fans and police ahead of the German club’s Champions League game against Napoli on Wednesday.

The fans broke car windows, as well as throwing flares, chairs and other objects. Passers-by had to seek refuge in bars and restaurants. A police patrol car and other vehicles were set on fire.

Riot police eventually calmed the situation, busing fans away to their hotels.

Other clashes could be avoided, since most of Napoli’s “ultras” were prevented from running into the Germans. In any case, they threw stones and bottles at the buses.

“I am monitoring what is happening in our houses. It is an unacceptable situation typical of a guerrilla combat,” said the mayor of Naples Gaetano Manfredi on Twitter. “My thanks to the police forces who acted to guarantee the safety of the city. I beg the Neapolitans, be responsible.”

It could not immediately be confirmed if they made any arrests or any injuries.

Police were on high alert in the Italian city — more than 800 officers were mobilized — after 600 fans arrived from Germany despite Frankfurt giving up its allotment of tickets for the round of 16 match in protest. That amount was increased by the ultras of Atalanta, which maintains a rivalry with Napoli.

The German club rejected the decision by the authorities in Naples to prohibit fans residing in Frankfurt from purchasing tickets, after incidents between fans during the first leg in Germany.

Napoli won 2-0 in the first leg, but local police made several arrests in the hours before due to altercations between fans.

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