Wednesday, March 15, 2006

That's Not Amore

International soccer and the World Cup have been synonymous with competition, camaraderie and national pride. You can add life threatening to list of adjectives. Just ask the three British soccer fans that were stabbed in Rome on Wednesday by rival fans. The Italian cops are saying that the violence was caused by “organized gangs of locals”.

Things got testy after about 200 fans of England’s Middlesbrough Football Club were drinking in Campo de’Fiori before the UEFA Cup game against AS Roma. A gang of Italians started throwing fire crackers, bottles and chairs at the Brits. Things turned nasty when knives were thrown into the mix. 13 Brits were treated and discharged, but a 39-year-old man required surgery after being stabbed in the chest and back.

So much for the Torino love-fest eh. Of course, it would be unlike British soccer fans to cause trouble.

"The vast majority of the Middlesbrough supporters that were there were what we would describe as good, normal, shirt-wearing supporters of Middlesbrough not hooligans, not people known for trouble," Superintendent Steve Swales of Cleveland police told reporters.

Ah, these were peace lovin’ British soccer fans. So for the uneducated, there’s no need to defend yourself if the British troublemaker you’re fending off is wearing a shirt.

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