A 21-year-old England fan has been arrested after leaving a 65-year-old in a coma during a fight outside a pub in Bologna.
England supporters flocked to the area for tonight’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino, but local media report a brawl broke out last night.
The incident occurred at the Bounty pub in via delle Moline and Italian newspapers claim the 65-year-old – who is also an England fan – was trying to defend himself with a bar stool when he was punched in the head by 21-year-old Matthew Mabey.
There were at least seven English citizens outside the pub when the fight broke out at 20.30 GMT and witnesses state they had been drinking since 11.00 GMT.
According to La Repubblica, the other England fans who witnessed the incident refused to speak to the police, so only an Italian passer-by would explain what happened.
He claimed there were three England fans pushing and shoving outside the pub when four arrived from another street.
The 65-year-old was waving a bar stool around as a weapon when the 21-year-old punched him, sending him to the ground where he hit his head.
The 21-year-old named as Mabey has been arrested for GBH and public drunkenness, while a 48-year-old was cautioned.
The 65-year-old underwent surgery last night at the Maggiore hospital in Bologna and is in an induced coma to take pressure off the brain.
“We can confirm the arrest of a British national in Italy on 21 March. We are providing consular assistance,” announced the Foreign Office.
Meanwhile, in nearby Rimini a 48-year-old England fan began shouting and throwing plates full of pastries at people in a bar in Piazza Tre Martiri.
When told to leave, the drunken man lost his balance and smashed into the glass window.