FOOTBALL NEWS

18/04/2007 08:56, Report by Ben Hibbs

Minister appeals to fans

Italy’s Interior Minister, Giuliano Amato, has admitted that Rome police were excessive in their treatment of United fans, but appealed to people not to judge them on their over-reaction, according to reports.

Speaking as he called for better understanding of the problems in Italian football crowds, Sig. Amato said, “Without doubt some policemen went too hard on the English fans and used their batons too easily on fans who were on the floor. But to judge Italian police only from that image is not fair."

Sig. Amato says that Italian football will adopt the English approach of using stewards inside stadiums rather than police in full riot gear, but highlighted the problem among some 'Ultra' supporters carrying knives to games.

"The main incidents actually occurred outside the Olympic Stadium, where some fans were knifed. Why are so many young fans going to the stadium with a knife in their pocket? We need to understand how to face this problem."

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