Rome bans Feyenoord football fans over violence 7 years ago

Feyenoord fans vandalised Bernini fountain in 2015.

Rome authorities have banned the sale of tickets to fans of Dutch football club Feyenoord ahead of the UEFA Cup match against Lazio scheduled at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday 8 September.

Rome prefect Matteo Piantedosi reportedly took the decision to "preserve the city from possible unrest" after Feyenoord 'ultra' fans caused mayhem in the capital before a Europa League match against AS Roma seven years ago.

On 19 February 2015, rioting Feyenoord supporters clashed with Rome police at the Spanish Steps and in Villa Borghese after spending the day drinking, in defiance of alcohol restrictions in place.

Rioters threw smoke bombs and smashed glass bottles against the 17th-century Barcaccia fountain, accredited to Pietro Bernini, whose famous son Gian Lorenzo possibly assisted his father in the monument's decoration.

The central part of the Baroque monument was damaged, with chipped fragments of the fountain visible in the waters along with glass bottles and trash dumped by the hooligans who also vandalised 15 city buses.

The travertine fountain, built in 1626-29, had recently undergone a year-long restoration.

The clashes resulted in the arrest of 50 Feyenoord fans, with 18 people injured, including 13 police officers. The damage caused by the vandalism in Rome was estimated at €5.2 million, according to Italian news reports.

Earlier this year a court in Rome found six Feyenoord fans guilty in absentia of vandalising the Barcaccia fountain, handing out sentences ranging from three years and eight months to four years.

Photo Il Messaggero