Rome prepares for football derby

Fans threaten to boycott derby over new security measures.

 

More than 1,000 police officers will be outside Rome's Olympic Stadium for the 8 November derby match between local rivals AS Roma and Lazio.

Tensions are high on both sides over the decision by Rome prefect Franco Gabrielli to install new security barriers at the stadium, a move that is deeply unpopular with football fans.

Supporters are threatening to boycott the game by congregating outside in protest over the barriers that divide the opposite ends of the stadium.

Traditionally violence flares up between the Curva Sud, reserved for Roma fans, and the Curva Nord for Lazio fans.

Football hooligans from London side West Ham, whose supporters are twinned with Lazio are also expected for the match.

The derby kicks off at 15.00, after the recent decision by Italy's interior ministry to ban evening matches due to the increasing difficulty in securing law and order. Traffic between Ponte Milvio and Ponte della Musica will be blocked from 13.00.

At the last derby on 25 May, which AS Roma won 2-1, two Roma fans were stabbed, while around 50 hard-core “ultrà” Wisła Sharks hooligans from Polish team Wisła Kraków joined their Lazio counterparts, the so-called Irriducibili.

AS Roma is currently third on the league table, behind Fiorentina and Inter Milan, while Lazio is in seventh place.