Holland says fans must pay for damage to Barcaccia

Fountain suffers "permanent and irreparable" damage

The Netherlands has said that Feyenoord fans must pay for the damage they caused to Rome's Barcaccia fountain during clashes ahead of a Europa League match against AS Roma on 19 February.

The Dutch embassy in Rome has pledged to "do its utmost to help Italy identify the culprits so that they can pay" but stressed that the Dutch government would not be picking up the bill for damage caused to the 17th-century fountain in Piazza di Spagna.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte telephoned Italian premier Matteo Renzi on 22 February to express his apologies for the behaviour of the Feyenoord fans who vandalised the landmark monument by pelting it with glass bottles, fireworks and flares.

The hooligans made a total of 110 scratches and chips on the Barcaccia, causing "permanent and irreparable" damage according to Rome's culture councillor Giovanna Marinelli.

As the controversy rumbles on, Rome's mayor Ignazio Marino has proposed a friendly Holland-Italy football match in Rotterdam to raise funds to repair the baroque fountain which was unveiled in September following a year-long restoration.

Meanwhile a Dutch citizen living in Italy has established an online appeal to raise funds to help with repair work to the Barcaccia, with the goal of reaching €100,000 to gift Rome. Scusa Roma Actie is also a chance for the “99.9 per cent of Dutch people” ashamed by the Feyenoord hooligans to apologise to Rome, according to its founder Elisabeth Jane Bertrand who lives in Barberino di Mugello just outside Florence.

Bertand told Wanted in Rome: "We have raised near to €7,000 at the moment however it's growing", adding that she is forming a committee comprising Dutch business leaders in Rome to fundraise with companies. To make an online donation visit Scusa Roma Actie.