London, Nov 24(ANI): The president of Italy’s Football Association (FA), Giancarlo Abete, has apologised to the English FA chairman David Bernstein following an assault on Tottenham fans in a Rome bar on Thursday.
Abete said he was condemning on behalf of ‘the whole Italian football family’ what he said was a disgraceful anti-Semitic attack.
Tottenham has traditionally had strong ties with London’s Jewish community. Ten Spurs fans, in the city for a match against Lazio, were taken to hospital.
A fan injured in the attack in the bar in the Campo dei Fiori in central Rome is expected to remain in hospital for a fortnight after being stabbed in the thigh and suffering head injuries.
Initially Lazio fans were thought to be to blame for the attack, but police has said two Italian men who have been charged with attempted murder, were fans of the city’s other Serie A team, AS Roma.
In a letter to Bernstein, Abete said it was another example of where football had once again… given a handful of delinquents the excuse to take out their racist and anti-Semite anger.
“There is evidence of this undoubted motive, which is detrimental to the image of Italian football and doesn’t match with the traditional hospitality and welcome of the city of Rome,” the BBC quoted Abete, as saying.
“I beg you to send our apologies to all Tottenham’s fans – and in particular to those families directly involved,” Abete added.
Spur’s match with Lazio unfolded without any violence, but there was further controversy, with reports of anti-Semitic chanting by the home fans.
The European football authorities said they are waiting to hear from English FA officials before possibly taking action against Lazio. (ANI)