Historical sites devastated as football fans clash in downtown Naples

Photo: PAP

Hooligans from SSC Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt clashed on Wednesday as their teams faced each other in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Riots lasted until late at night on March 15 in Campania's capital. The city's historic heart was devastated in the process.

Some 600 organized fans from Frankfurt am Main traveled to Naples. The first incidents occurred in the afternoon. A close-knit group of German fans infiltrated the city's historic center, enraging the local fans.

Violent confrontations occurred between two groups, who both assaulted the police, resulting in a patrol car being set on fire and multiple vehicles being damaged. Hooligans caused damage to shops, taverns, and restaurants in the historical district of the city, also destroying parked vehicles.

Numerous aggressive individuals were detained, including almost 200 Germans, with some facing charges based on visual evidence from security cameras. The German Interior Minister strongly condemned the events.

Will the Germans pay?

"Naples turned into a battleground on Wednesday," "there were street battles," the Italian media reports on hooligan confrontations in Campania's city. The wave of violence that raced across the city before the match provoked debate in Rome and across Italy concerning law enforcement's response and efforts to restore order. Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi has been asked to explain what went wrong.

An Italian ruling coalition member La Lega Nord has demanded that the German government compensate for the damages caused by German fans.

The mayor of Naples, Gaetano Manfredi, is shocked by what has transpired and has spoken of "intolerable scenes of devastation". He stressed that the use of violence is condemned by the government.

Napoli won 3-0 (5-0 on aggregate), with Piotr Zieliński scoring one of the goals, and eliminated Frankfurt from the competition.