Dutch fans clash with Rome police

Feyenoord fans in Rome (youtube.com)
Feyenoord fans in Rome (youtube.com)

Rome - Fans of Dutch side Feyenoord hurled smoke bombs at police in Rome's central Piazza di Spagna and damaged a baroque fountain before Thursday's Europa League game against Roma.

Police reported that clashes with drunken Dutchmen had already taken place late Wednesday near the Campo de' Fiori square, with 23 arrests.

About 20 other fans were arrested Thursday as hundreds gathered in Piazza di Spagna and confronted police, hurling bottles and damaging parked vehicles and dustbins.

Three fans, about 10 policemen and one photographer were reportedly injured.

The Fontana della Barcaccia, or fountain of the old boat, was damaged and was littered with beer cans and bottles. The monument, which was crafted in 1629 by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo, had recently been restored.

"What is happening in these hours in Rome is shameful and intolerable," city hall quoted Rome mayor Ignazio Marino as saying.

"Our capital, so precious and delicate, cannot become the hostage of hooligans who came here to follow their team and are instead causing violence and disorder."

A first group of eight Feyenoord fans involved in the Campo de' Fiori riots were dealt with Thursday, pleading guilty to assaulting police. They were fined $51,200 dollars each and banned from the game. They were expected to wait for their flight at the Rome airport they are to depart from.

Six police were hurt in Wednesday's clashes.

Around 6 000 fans of the Rotterdam club arrived in the Italian capital for the away leg with Roma in the Europa League round of 32.

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