Rome Riots: Rotterdam Feyenoord fans clash with police for second time

Feyenoord football fans riot in Rome (Screenshot YouTube/Polizia di Stato)
Feyenoord football fans riot in Rome on the eve of the February 19, 2015 UEFA Europa League match (Screenshot YouTube/Polizia di Stato)Feyenoord football fans riot in Rome on the eve of the February 19, 2015 UEFA Europa League match (Screenshot YouTube/Polizia di Stato)

Italian police arrested a large group of Feyenoord fans for the second day in a row in Rome on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of rioting and violent behavior in the city.

“[T]en guys were certainly on the ground," newspaper AD reported on Thursday afternoon in reference to the apprehended fans of the Rotterdam football team.

The day's problems began when police reportedly tried to lead the fans from the Italian capital’s iconic Spanish Steps towards the direction of buses bound for the Stadio Olympico, where Thursday’s AS Roma-Feyenoord Europa League football match takes place.

“They [the fans] began to run. I couldn’t move anywhere,” Adrianne de Koning, a correspondent for the AD in Rome, is quoted as saying.

The fans were driven by the police into a steep street that did not allow for quick movement. Police officers then began to strike at the fans who, in turn, launched fireworks and threw bottles.

Thursday’s unrest was a coda to riots in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori on Wednesday evening, which resulted in the arrest of other Feyenoord supporters. A statement by the Italian police said that Wednesday’s riots resulted in the detention of 33 Dutch Feyenoord fans, of which 16 were arrested by the National Police and another seven were held by the Arma dei Carabinieri, a military branch charged with civilian policing duties.

According to AD, eight rioters sentenced on Thursday were slapped with fines of 45,000 euros for vandalizing historical monuments and escorted by police to the airport. Six others were given eight-months jail sentences. Two evaded incarceration, but were fined 40,000 euros.

Various Italian media note that many Feyenoord fans went soundly to the Stadio Olympico, says AD. Some 5,000 Dutch supporters are in Rome for their team’s away match.