A 53-year-old Irishman is fighting for his life following an assault before Liverpool’s Champions League Semi Final clash with Roma last night. The man who is believed to be a Liverpool fan is being treated for his injuries at Walton Neurological Centre.
Two men aged 25 and 26 from Rome have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and are being questioned by police. Prior to last nights match Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had asked fans to show travelling Roma supporters and players the respect they deserve;
“Outside the stadium please show the respect we have to show. This is an outstanding football club known for its fantastic atmosphere, so we don’t need to throw things at the bus.
“Please show the respect that they deserve. We are only opponents on the pitch. Everyone knows what a wonderful place Rome is and not all people know how wonderful Liverpool is and we can show that in twenty minutes.”
Merseyside Police released a statement following last nights altercations;
Chief Superintendent Dave Charnock, said: “The vast majority of the 52,500 fans attending the game were well behaved and went to watch a good game of football.However, a minority of fans from both Liverpool and Roma were involved in isolated pockets of disorder in the city centre and near to the ground.”
“During one incident a 53-year-old man, believed to be a Liverpool fan, was assaulted near to the ground during what is believed to have been an altercation between Roma and Liverpool fans. He is currently being treated for his injuries at Walton Neurological Centre, where his condition is described as critical. Two men, aged 25 and 26 years from Rome, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and have been taken to a police station where they will be interviewed by detectives.”
“Detectives are also investigating the use of flares outside Anfield stadium on Arkles Lane prior to the game. A number of those in the crowd that had gathered to greet the Liverpool team coach were in possession of flares and work is ongoing to identify those responsible and to establish if offences have been committed under the Fireworks Regulation Act 2004 or Section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875.”
“We will be reviewing CCTV footage, our own body-worn camera footage and working with the club to identify those involved in any of these incidents so we can put them before the courts.”
“And I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage, in relation to any of these incidents to contact us.”
“Finally, I would like to thank the Liverpool Football Club stewards and the police officers who were out on the ground tonight for their hard work and professionalism throughout the evening.”
Liverpool went on to beat Roma 5-2 in what was a thrilling encounter with the 2nd leg taking place in Rome on Wednesday, May 2nd in the Stadio Olimpico.