Lazio have released a statement suggesting there is “absolutely no foundation” behind reports the attack on Tottenham fans was by their ultras.
A bar in the Campo dei Fiori area of Rome was attacked at around 1.30am local time last night by a group of between 50 and 100 masked figures who were armed with knuckle-dusters, iron bars and knives, leaving 10 Spurs fans injured – one seriously.
“S.S. Lazio, with relation to the acts of hooliganism that occurred last night in the Campo dei Fiori area that by some news sources was attributed to the Biancazzurri ultras, would like to point out the following:
“1) The aggressors arrived at the bar wearing full motorbike helmets and masks that hid their identity, so there is absolutely no foundation for attributing them to Lazio fan groups.
“2) Lazio fans have shown recently that they have totally abandoned manifestations of cowardly and gratuitous physical violence such as the events of last night.
“3) Lazio have always urged their fans to show sporting spirit and fair play towards opponents and their supporters, limiting their comments to healthy sporting antagonism. The proof was in the behaviour of the fans at the stadium during last week’s Rome derby.
“4) Incidents like what happened last night have nothing to do with football and instead represent pure delinquency, against which the police and magistrates must intervene with every instrument at their disposal.
“5) Lazio hope those responsible will be identified as soon as possible, therefore taking away the unfair associations and suspicions on their fans.”
There are conflicting reports emerging from Rome as the investigation continues. It is known several of the hooligans were apprehended as they fled the scene and reports suggest at least one was a Roma fan.
The more likely motive emerging is that they were members of a far right political action group and targeted the Tottenham fans due to the club’s historic association with the Jewish community.
It would therefore be an anti-Semitic attack rather than one based on their football colours.
There has been surprise that such an organised and planned attack took place well away from the stadium and long before the Europa League game, marking it out as highly unusual for an ultra’ attack.