Two stabbed in violence ahead of Champions League final

May 27th, 2009 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, May 27 (DPA) Two fans were stabbed and several people arrested ahead of the Champions League final between holders Manchester United and Barcelona at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, Italian media reported.
Police arrested four hooligans who stabbed a US citizen in the thigh, believing he was a United supporter, on Tuesday night in Ostia, a seaside town west of the capital,

An Englishman was stabbed in a Rome square by unidentified assailants.

Three Spanish supporters who were carrying clubs and a javelin in their car were arrested Wednesday as they drove toward Rome.

Also arrested Tuesday night were two United fans for assaulting police officers. The owner of a pub in Rome’s central Campo de Fiori square called the police as the two drunk Englishmen, aged 19 and 45, were harassing other customers.

Alcohol-related violence was reported in the night in Pisa, where United and local fans clashed in a square. Three Englishmen were treated for minor injuries.

Several flights from England have landed in the Tuscany town, 350 km north of Rome, ahead of the final.

The sale of alcohol was banned in large areas of Rome from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning. It appears, however, that drinks were available to many of the 50,000 fans expected in the city for the final.

Patrols made up of Italian, English and Spanish officers were deployed to guarantee safety in the city.

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