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Champions League Final Must Be Removed From Rome!

Times Online is running a campaign to have Europe's showpiece event moved to a safer venue.

In 2001, 19 Liverpool fans were stabbed in Rome as they met Roma in the Uefa Cup and then the Champions League.

In December 2007, 16 Manchester United supporters were knifed in the city while in 2006 a number of Middlesbrough fans were stabbed before a Uefa Cup match.

Last week an Arsenal supporters' coach came under attack by a group of Ultras, Roma's hardcore followers, one of who boarded the coach and stabbed a man in the leg.

Uefa has refused to bow to requests to move the final because, "it is difficult to move such an event two months before it takes place ... moving to another place would probably put arrangements in danger. It would be less safe."

Uefa admitted Rome's policing for the recent match with Arsenal was inadequate, so how many chances should the city get? Holding the final in the Eternal City is a recipe for disaster.

Support Times Online's campaign in your droves - it's the only way to make Uefa sit up and take notice.

This final must be moved before football is left with more blood on its hands.

Click on this link to join the campaign and make sure all your friends and colleagues know about it. http://timesonline.typepad.com/thegame/2009/03/ahead-of-the-14.html






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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 20 2009

Time: 4:11PM

Your Comments

Alarmist rubbish. ALL of the violence has occurred when Roma is involved- the problem is the Ultras that 'support' Roma, not the city itself. I very much doubt that there will be any trouble with two neutral teams, neither of which can even be Italian.
elbondo
Alarmist rubbish. ALL of the violence has occurred when Roma is involved- the problem is the Ultras that 'support' Roma, not the city itself. I very much doubt that there will be any trouble with two neutral teams, neither of which can even be Italian.
elbondo
I do think that the possibility of trouble might be lessened without the presence of an Italian team, but to call it "alarmist rubbish" could be a bit naive. Ultras/football hooligans don't need to be involved in a match to stir up some trouble. I wasn't involved in any trouble myself, but at the Carling Cup final a couple of years ago I know there were some Cardiff City fans out causing trouble.
Rocky7
I do think that the possibility of trouble might be lessened without the presence of an Italian team, but to call it "alarmist rubbish" could be a bit naive. Ultras/football hooligans don't need to be involved in a match to stir up some trouble. I wasn't involved in any trouble myself, but at the Carling Cup final a couple of years ago I know there were some Cardiff City fans out causing trouble.
Rocky7
Been out there a lot have you elbondo? Speaking from experience yeah?
shewore
Been out there a lot have you elbondo? Speaking from experience yeah?
shewore
I'm with Rocky on this, yes it's quite possible that the Roma ultras wouldn't be out there to stab people when no Italian teams are involved. But (1) Why take the risk when it's such a high-profile event? (2) Could the Italians be more upset that all of their teams got kicked out, especially by English teams (who could well go to the final)? (3) It doesn't really matter if the involvement of Roma/Lazio/whoever was the main reason why they caused so much trouble in the city before. If just in general, Rome the city has a bad safety record, why can't the authorities (UEFA) take the honour of holding this prestigious event away from Rome as a punitive measure? It may not be completely fair to those normal citizens of Rome, but isn't it still far fairer than risking some fans' lives? Just "increasing police presence" is inadequate compensation imo.
GoonerLou
I'm with Rocky on this, yes it's quite possible that the Roma ultras wouldn't be out there to stab people when no Italian teams are involved. But (1) Why take the risk when it's such a high-profile event? (2) Could the Italians be more upset that all of their teams got kicked out, especially by English teams (who could well go to the final)? (3) It doesn't really matter if the involvement of Roma/Lazio/whoever was the main reason why they caused so much trouble in the city before. If just in general, Rome the city has a bad safety record, why can't the authorities (UEFA) take the honour of holding this prestigious event away from Rome as a punitive measure? It may not be completely fair to those normal citizens of Rome, but isn't it still far fairer than risking some fans' lives? Just "increasing police presence" is inadequate compensation imo.
GoonerLou
This is a tricky one, the first thing to say is that the image given by the press is OTT. I've been to Roma twice now and not seen a thing and that is the experience of 99%of Arsenal fans. Rome is a city that deserves a final because it's such a beautiful place. The question is, do you reward the minority of idiots and show them they are important, or do you say, "no, stuff you, Rome deserves a final and you aren't powerful enough to stop that." Iwas a bit frustrated by the policing on the way out of the stadium this time, but then I understand because by the time we were let off in the city centre, all bars and restaurants were shut which was probably a good thing from a safety point of view. I don't think the final should be moved at this stage but UEFA have to be called into question as to why they awarded it there in the first place. It's time someone held these idiots to account, they should be on trial and not the city of Rome.
Little Dutch
This is a tricky one, the first thing to say is that the image given by the press is OTT. I've been to Roma twice now and not seen a thing and that is the experience of 99%of Arsenal fans. Rome is a city that deserves a final because it's such a beautiful place. The question is, do you reward the minority of idiots and show them they are important, or do you say, "no, stuff you, Rome deserves a final and you aren't powerful enough to stop that." Iwas a bit frustrated by the policing on the way out of the stadium this time, but then I understand because by the time we were let off in the city centre, all bars and restaurants were shut which was probably a good thing from a safety point of view. I don't think the final should be moved at this stage but UEFA have to be called into question as to why they awarded it there in the first place. It's time someone held these idiots to account, they should be on trial and not the city of Rome.
Little Dutch
True enough LD. I think we also need to look at it from the perspective as to how best to educate people to stop doing those stupid and dangerous things. Will they get it if you show "you're not powerful enough to stop us from holding the final here" or if you just tell them "we're taking it back unless/until you stop the crimes, now get your act together and watch us hold it in London (or whatever)"? It's like teaching kids really. If some of these idiots (and they're called that for a reason) aren't mature enough to get the message or political gesture of keeping the final there despite their behaviour, what do you do? Someone might get hurt already and that's awfully unfair and very much avoidable - if we revisit it now. You have to take something away from them or (maybe especially with *some* people) make them lose face (by removing the honour) to get the point across. It's important not only to educate *some* people in Rome but also other cities in contention in the future. It's a matter of principle. (Rome is my favourite city too. And I'm speaking as a bit of an Italophile who spent years learning the incredibly tough language.) Just because a great, beautiful city deserves a grand event doesn't mean its safety record is practically good enough for it. If I were to choose between being too cautious or too trusting/lenient, I could relax a bit if it's something else, but it's a high-adrenaline event with 73,000 visiting ticket holders and another millions of people in the city. I know which side I'd rather be on.
GoonerLou
True enough LD. I think we also need to look at it from the perspective as to how best to educate people to stop doing those stupid and dangerous things. Will they get it if you show "you're not powerful enough to stop us from holding the final here" or if you just tell them "we're taking it back unless/until you stop the crimes, now get your act together and watch us hold it in London (or whatever)"? It's like teaching kids really. If some of these idiots (and they're called that for a reason) aren't mature enough to get the message or political gesture of keeping the final there despite their behaviour, what do you do? Someone might get hurt already and that's awfully unfair and very much avoidable - if we revisit it now. You have to take something away from them or (maybe especially with *some* people) make them lose face (by removing the honour) to get the point across. It's important not only to educate *some* people in Rome but also other cities in contention in the future. It's a matter of principle. (Rome is my favourite city too. And I'm speaking as a bit of an Italophile who spent years learning the incredibly tough language.) Just because a great, beautiful city deserves a grand event doesn't mean its safety record is practically good enough for it. If I were to choose between being too cautious or too trusting/lenient, I could relax a bit if it's something else, but it's a high-adrenaline event with 73,000 visiting ticket holders and another millions of people in the city. I know which side I'd rather be on.
GoonerLou
What the hell are you on about shewore? I agree with LD, who has been there Chicken Little.
elbondo
What the hell are you on about shewore? I agree with LD, who has been there Chicken Little.
elbondo
But don't get me wrong- the safety of visiting supporters is tremendously important, but it would be a shame to deny people the chance to go to Rome for a big event like this. IF anything goes wrong, then Italian teams should get banned from European competition for five years, just like England did.
elbondo
But don't get me wrong- the safety of visiting supporters is tremendously important, but it would be a shame to deny people the chance to go to Rome for a big event like this. IF anything goes wrong, then Italian teams should get banned from European competition for five years, just like England did.
elbondo
'Rome is a city that deserves a final because it's such a beautiful place.' (LD) you have got to be joking its a dirty city covered in graffiti, dog crap all over the place, with numerous pickpocket thieves all over the place. There are lots of beautiful places in Italy but Rome come on, its a hole. Have ibeen there yes even last July and its still a dirty hole.
alwaysgunner
'Rome is a city that deserves a final because it's such a beautiful place.' (LD) you have got to be joking its a dirty city covered in graffiti, dog crap all over the place, with numerous pickpocket thieves all over the place. There are lots of beautiful places in Italy but Rome come on, its a hole. Have ibeen there yes even last July and its still a dirty hole.
alwaysgunner
I don't think the final should be moved because of hooligans and co. That would be bowing to them. We need to stand up to them to put our point across. Italy and Spain even Olympic marseile are famousfor their ultras but having sat with some of them, they are mostly good passionate fans. A minority of them are OTT but that's the same in every walk of life. You can't punish everyone because of a few.
Gael-Force
I don't think the final should be moved because of hooligans and co. That would be bowing to them. We need to stand up to them to put our point across. Italy and Spain even Olympic marseile are famousfor their ultras but having sat with some of them, they are mostly good passionate fans. A minority of them are OTT but that's the same in every walk of life. You can't punish everyone because of a few.
Gael-Force
No idea what 'Chicken Little' is - but i was referring to your comment of it all being 'alarmist rubbish' try telling that to the fella that got stabbed this time around, or the United fans last year that got slashed.
shewore
No idea what 'Chicken Little' is - but i was referring to your comment of it all being 'alarmist rubbish' try telling that to the fella that got stabbed this time around, or the United fans last year that got slashed.
shewore
AG, I think Rome is a beautiful city. And yes, I have visited there. Cant quite agree with you on this one.
prits
AG, I think Rome is a beautiful city. And yes, I have visited there. Cant quite agree with you on this one.
prits
Moving the game from the Olimpico will not achieve anything and will hardly deal with the problem that causes all these knife attacks. Roma Ultra's groups like Fedayn aren't gonna be rocking up to games they're not playing in to stab you simply for being English. If you want to solve the problem, do something about it when Roma are actually playing, don't punish the whole city of Roma for a select few fans of one club from a city of millions. There is some irony in this whole situation. 30 years ago it would've been the other way around and it was English fans going to Italy and destroying their cities and stadiums and kicking the ***** out of people indiscriminately. Maybe a little bit of cause and effect.
Ozi Gooner
Moving the game from the Olimpico will not achieve anything and will hardly deal with the problem that causes all these knife attacks. Roma Ultra's groups like Fedayn aren't gonna be rocking up to games they're not playing in to stab you simply for being English. If you want to solve the problem, do something about it when Roma are actually playing, don't punish the whole city of Roma for a select few fans of one club from a city of millions. There is some irony in this whole situation. 30 years ago it would've been the other way around and it was English fans going to Italy and destroying their cities and stadiums and kicking the ***** out of people indiscriminately. Maybe a little bit of cause and effect.
Ozi Gooner
lol at some of the comments here. Take the final off Rome cos it's a dangerous city? lol, they held in Istanbul and Moscow the last two times. Famous Spanish ultras? hahahaha.
Ozi Gooner
lol at some of the comments here. Take the final off Rome cos it's a dangerous city? lol, they held in Istanbul and Moscow the last two times. Famous Spanish ultras? hahahaha.
Ozi Gooner
shewore I agree mate, the fact 30 odd people have been stabbed at or around that stadium in the last couple of years in football related instances would mean calling it "Alarmist rubbish" devalues the scumbag behaviour of the Roma fans and the sickening wounds that the attacked fans have received to the extent it is almost insulting.
LondonGooner
shewore I agree mate, the fact 30 odd people have been stabbed at or around that stadium in the last couple of years in football related instances would mean calling it "Alarmist rubbish" devalues the scumbag behaviour of the Roma fans and the sickening wounds that the attacked fans have received to the extent it is almost insulting.
LondonGooner
Wow, one minor incident this year, and it is still unclear whether it was a stabbing or cut by flying glass, 11 ManUre fans stabbed outside two separate matches in 2007, and three Boro fans in 2006 has now become 30 odd people in the last couple of years- you should get a job writing headlines for the red tops! Maybe they should move it to London, nobody ever gets stabbed there!
elbondo
Wow, one minor incident this year, and it is still unclear whether it was a stabbing or cut by flying glass, 11 ManUre fans stabbed outside two separate matches in 2007, and three Boro fans in 2006 has now become 30 odd people in the last couple of years- you should get a job writing headlines for the red tops! Maybe they should move it to London, nobody ever gets stabbed there!
elbondo
Elbondo you Canadian dry humour doesn't wash with me. The fella that got stabbed, definitely got stabbed, anyway, doesn't matter to you - all the same on the TV eh.
shewore
Elbondo you Canadian dry humour doesn't wash with me. The fella that got stabbed, definitely got stabbed, anyway, doesn't matter to you - all the same on the TV eh.
shewore
Canadian Dry. Good drink.
Ozi Gooner
Canadian Dry. Good drink.
Ozi Gooner
I guess I'm spoiled Shewore- we don't have hooligans over here. Visiting supporters aren't even segregated for the most part but we are culturally advanced to the point where there is banter between fans of opposing teams supporters. You may see the odd fight, but they are spontaneous alcohol fuelled outbursts by a**holes who would fight anywhere, it's not some sick devotion to a team. I really feel sorry for those that get stabbed over something so trivial as football. I still maintain that Rome will be perfectly safe in the cup final (if resembling a police state). BTW, do you see a lot of stabbings on your away days in Europe? Or do you, like me, watch the games on TV?
elbondo
I guess I'm spoiled Shewore- we don't have hooligans over here. Visiting supporters aren't even segregated for the most part but we are culturally advanced to the point where there is banter between fans of opposing teams supporters. You may see the odd fight, but they are spontaneous alcohol fuelled outbursts by a**holes who would fight anywhere, it's not some sick devotion to a team. I really feel sorry for those that get stabbed over something so trivial as football. I still maintain that Rome will be perfectly safe in the cup final (if resembling a police state). BTW, do you see a lot of stabbings on your away days in Europe? Or do you, like me, watch the games on TV?
elbondo
No mate the closest i've seen to a stabbing was away at Slavia Praha last year - not sure if you remember it? It was a dour 0-0 affair and half the away following nearly got trenchfoot... in the city centre coming out of an Irish Boozer some local pikey was having a go with a little switchblade. And no, i didn't see any in Rome - that answer your question? I'm a little bit riled that i've risen to that, but i feel it necessary.
shewore
No mate the closest i've seen to a stabbing was away at Slavia Praha last year - not sure if you remember it? It was a dour 0-0 affair and half the away following nearly got trenchfoot... in the city centre coming out of an Irish Boozer some local pikey was having a go with a little switchblade. And no, i didn't see any in Rome - that answer your question? I'm a little bit riled that i've risen to that, but i feel it necessary.
shewore
An Italian's thoughts on this: http://timesonline.typepad.com/thegame/2009/03/the-clough-phen.html
GoonerLou
An Italian's thoughts on this: http://timesonline.typepad.com/thegame/2009/03/the-clough-phen.html
GoonerLou
Well Shewore, let me just say I hope you are safe at the final in Rome and afterwards whilst celebrating our victory!
elbondo
Well Shewore, let me just say I hope you are safe at the final in Rome and afterwards whilst celebrating our victory!
elbondo
 

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