Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash

·3 min read
Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - EPA
Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - EPA

Leicester City and Napoli are likely to face a Uefa investigation after fans clashed inside the King Power Stadium and fought with police during Thursday night’s Europa League draw.

The Premier League side looked on course for victory as they led by two goals through Ayoze Pérez and Harvey Barnes. But hopes of a flying start to their European campaign were dashed by Victor Osimhen, who scored twice in the latter stages to level as Leicester saw Wilfred Ndidi sent off for a second booking in injury time.

However, the contest was marred by the ugly scene in the stands, where masked and hooded Napoli supporters were seen to be fighting with police officers who were maintaining a barrier between them and the home section.

Several Leicester fans were also seen to become involved in violent clashes, with bottles being hurled by both sets of supporters.

Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - GETTY IMAGES
Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - GETTY IMAGES

Uefa are likely to take a dim view of the violence, particularly in light of the scenes that overshadowed the Euro 2020 final at Wembley in July, for which the Football Association remains under investigation over how Wembley was allowed to be stormed by ticketless hooligans.

Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - AP
Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - AP

Tensions had been building throughout the day between Leicester and Napoli fans. A video posted on social media appeared to show one group of Napoli ultras charging at others outside De Montfort University and using their belts as weapons, with one person seen throwing a chair.

That aggression carried over and exploded at the final whistle, where again belts were used inside the King Power Stadium to attack rival fans and police officers.

The violence capped a disappointing night for Leicester, but manager Brendan Rodgers was keen to try and look at the positives afterwards and admitted that though there was clear disappointment, the fixture was a good barometer to assess where his side are compared to one of the Europa League favourites.

"It was a really good measure for us. Napoli are arguably the favourites for the competition but we were very competitive,” Rodgers said.

"We are disappointed to lose the goals but there is still a lot for us to be happy about and lots for us to analyse where we can do better.

Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - AP
Napoli ultras fight with Leicester City fans and police as violence mars Europa League clash - AP

"It was a really exciting game for the neutral, I was really pleased with the team in terms of the mentality, the goals and the resilience for a lot of the game.

"I didn't think the referee was very good all night and Wilf was unfortunate, he picked up the booking early on and was fighting to get across to stop the attacker getting away. It was a little bit harsh."

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