Published on 23 Nov 2012 Sections , ,

Italians charged after brutal attack on Spurs fans

The Italian footballing authorities apologise to the FA after an incident in a Rome pub in which Tottenham fans were attacked with knives, baseball bats and iron bars.

Two men are charged with attempted murder after an incident in a Rome pub in which Tottenham fans were attacked with knives, baseball bats and iron bars (Reuters)

Two men, 26-year-old Roma supporters Francesco Ianari and Mauro Pinnelli, have been charged with attempted murder following the incident.

The president of the Italian footballing authorities, Giancarlo Abete, has sent a letter to Football Association chairman David Bernstein apologising for what happened.

He said: “Once again, football has given a handful of delinquents the excuse to take out their racist and anti-semite anger.

“There is evidence of this undoubted motive, which is detrimental to the image of Italian football and doesn’t match with the traditional hospitality and welcome of the city of Rome.

“I beg you to send our apologies to all Tottenham’s fans – and in particular to those families directly involved.”


Anti-semitic language is reported to have been used during the assault.

The Football Association is also taking action by compiling a report for Uefa on alleged anti-semitic chanting at last night’s match between Lazio and Tottenham in the Italian capital.

Lazio fans unveiled a “Free Palestine” banner during the match and are alleged to have used the expression “Juden Tottenham” to bait Spurs supporters.

Juden is the German word for Jews. Tottenham have historic Jewish connections and a large Jewish following.

Three black Spurs players are also reported to have been subjected to monkey chants by fans of Lazio, a club often accused of having a fascist following.

Stab wounds

The Europa League match, which ended in a goalless draw, was preceded by the violent attack on Tottenham supporters.

Ashley Mills, 25, from Hutton in Essex, is in hospital with stab wounds to his head and legs.

He was one of 11 fans who were brutally attacked with knives, baseball bats and iron bars by a group of 30 men at the Drunken Ship pub in Campo de Fiori in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Before the game, Lazio president Claudio Lotito had been keen to distance the club from the incident, saying: “Lazio fans had nothing to do with what happened in Campo de Fiori. When it emerges who was really responsible, some people will be surprised.”

During the match, the chanting is said to have come from a section of the ground where Lazio’s Ultras (hooligans) sit.

An FA spokesperson said: “We were saddened and alarmed to see reports of violent incidents prior to the game as well as anti-semitic chants.

“The FA had a crowd control adviser present at the fixture who will provide an urgent report which we will pass on to Uefa as a matter of priority.”