Sunday March 2 2014
Swansea lodge Napoli protest

Napoli are set to receive another official complaint from UEFA after 700 Swansea fans missed the start of their Europa League game.

Arsenal had already protested to the football governing body after a group of their supporters were accompanied late to the Stadio San Paolo by a police escort in December, meaning they didn’t see the kick-off.

It’s reported one group of 200 took two hours to be transported from the local police’s designated meeting point to the stadium, missing the opening 20 minutes of the game.

Others were held up outside the arena and only allowed in after kick-off.

“For our fans to be treated in this way is deplorable. There is simply no excuse and we will be demanding answers from both UEFA and the Naples authorities,” read a statement on the Swansea City website.

“To make matters worse, this is not the first time this has happened to visiting fans in Naples. Arsenal fans suffered the same fate there in the Champions League recently.

“We thought we had done everything possible to alleviate any issues for our fans. We sent a delegation from the club, South Wales Police and the Football Association to Naples last month to discuss previous problems with the local police.

“We thought we had made positive progress because we were given assurances that previous issues would not be repeated for Swansea City fans. Unfortunately, most of the promises and assurances we were given were not honoured on the night.”

“We did everything possible on the night to rectify the situation by getting the British Consulate, Uefa delegates and Napoli officials involved. Unfortunately we had no control over events.

“As a club, we appreciate the tremendous support our fans have given us over the years. Having travelled so far to support the club at substantial cost, for them to be treated in this manner is nothing short of disgraceful.

“Our supporters were impeccably behaved in Italy and were again a credit to the club. For them to be treated in this manner is totally unacceptable.”

Once again, the problem appears to be out of Napoli’s control and related to the local police force who are given the job of escorting fans to the stadium.

In Italy it is not unusual for police to ensure no contact arises between opposition fans by either bringing the travelling supporters in several hours early or slightly late, then keeping them in the arena for over an hour after the game.

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