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UK football fans escorted to stadium after attacks

posted 22 Nov 2012, 10:01 by Mpelembe   [ updated 22 Nov 2012, 10:02 ]

British footballs fans travel on special buses to a Rome stadium for a Europa League match after ten were injured in an early morning attack by rival supporters.

ROMEITALY (NOVEMBER 22, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Fans of UK soccer team Tottenham Hotspur decided to make use of organised transport to Rome's stadium on Thursday (November 22) after a violent attack in the early hours of the morning left ten supporters hurt and one seriously injured.

The 10, nine British and one American, were attacked outside a pub near the centre of Rome by dozens of masked men. One suffered injuries to an artery and is in a serious condition.

"Sitting there having a drink, got attacked, that's it," said one fan with bandages on his head, who refused to give his name.

Hundreds of English supporters have arrived in Rome to watch the Europa Leaguematch against Serie A side Lazio, most are hoping to avoid any further trouble.

"It's a bit sad because I tried ringing my mates and none of them are answering their phones or nothing. I don't know what's happened to them or nothing," said fan Stuart Dodds.

"It's just bad what's going on out here. Hearing all the trouble that's kicking off over here, it's just ridiculous. It's only a game of football at the end of the day," he said.

Groups of police, some with riot helmets attached to their belts stood close to the buses that would carry the fans to the stadium.

Busloads of fans were escorted into the stadium well before the match was due to start. Only a couple of fans were seen arriving by themselves to enter the stadium.

A police spokesman declined to identify the attackers but said a number of Italians who were involved in the fight had been detained.