Albanian police clash with Italian and Dutch supporters; 12 injured
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police on Tuesday reported at least 10 officers and two civilians injured in clashes with Dutch and Italian fans a day before the Europa Conference League final between Dutch club Feyenoord and Roma Italian.
Two separate groups of opposing supporters clashed with police in separate areas while trying to drive towards each other, according to a police statement.
Dutch supporters threw plastic and glass bottles and other objects at the police. In another incident, Italian fans used hard objects and batons to confront police.
Police said 48 Italian and 12 Dutch fans “involved in acts of violence” had been arrested.
Feyenoord and Roma are historic clubs with large fanbases and notorious violent elements among their supporters. They were gathered in separate “fan zones” one kilometer (0.6 mile) apart.
Albanian authorities have taken extreme precautionary measures for what they want to be a “party day”, a car-free day in the city center on Wednesday which has been declared a public holiday.
Up to 100,000 fans are expected to populate Tirana although each club will receive just 4,000 tickets for the inaugural final of the third-tier European tournament, which has been designed to give smaller clubs a chance to compete in continental competition.
The capacity of the national arena is less than 20,000.
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