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Dutch football fans ransack Italian capital

Police clash with rowdy Feyenoord supporters in Rome ahead of Europa League game

Dutch football fans ransack Italian capital

by John Phillips

ROME, Italy

 Italian police have been engaged in running battles with fans from the Dutch football team Feyenoord for a second day Thursday ahead of a Europa League match against Roma in the Olympic Stadium, local media reported.

 On Wednesday night, police in full riot gear charged and eventually dispersed hundreds of drunken Dutchmen who were setting off flares and rampaging through the popular Campo di Fiori entertainment area. Dozens were arrested, according to police.

 But the Dutchmen resumed their assault on the Eternal City by running berserk in the Piazza di Spagna square below the Spanish Steps, breaking off parts of the tourist-famed Barcaccia (Sunken Ship) fountain sculpted by Bernini in the 17th century, which was restored just a few months ago.

 The normally peaceful square was carpeted with broken bottles and trash as tourists fled while, as photos in a Roman newspaper show, the Dutch fans urinated in the street in front of the entrance to the Spanish Steps subway station and then pelted police with bottles and cans.

Rome mayor Ignazio Marino demanded why the prefect of the city, responsible for law and order, had not deployed sufficient police to control the fans.

 “Rome devastated and wounded, in contact with the Prefect, Police Chief and Dutch Ambassador,” Marino tweeted, “It won’t end here”.  

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