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UEFA Champions League 2023-24: Eleven Germans arrested in Champions League clashes in Naples

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Italian police said they had arrested 11 German football supporters in Naples after violent clashes on the eve of Wednesday’s Champions League match between Napoli and Union Berlin.

Around 300 German ultras wearing red bandanas over their faces rampaged through the historic centre of the southern Italian city on Tuesday evening, police said in a statement.

They damaged parked cars and street furniture, devastated a local shop and attacked police officers with cobblestones, clubs, metal and wooden rods and firecrackers, it said.

Ten were arrested during the clashes, and belonged to “the most extremist ultras group of the visiting team’s fans, as well as the fans of Borussia Moenchengladbach”, a historic rival of Napoli which is twinned with Union Berlin, police said.

An 11th German fan was arrested in a separate incident in Naples, accused of violence towards a public official.

Wednesday’s match kicks off at 6:45 pm (11:15 pm IST) at the Maradona Stadium in Naples.

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Naples was also the scene of serious disorder before and after last season’s Champions League last-16 clash with Eintracht Frankfurt, whose hardcore fans travelled to Italy despite a ticketing controversy which led to the German club not taking up their away allocation.

Eight fans were arrested after clashes around Naples, with six police officers injured after being attacked with smoke bombs, flares, chairs, bottles and metal poles, while Napoli fans shot fireworks at the hundreds of Eintracht supporters who made the trip.

The Champions League match at AC Milan this week was also marred by violence, with a fan of Paris Sant-Germain stabbed on the eve of Tuesday’s game, which the home side won 2-1.

Another PSG fan was also given a two-year stadium ban by local officials after being found in possession of a 22cm box cutter when entering the San Siro stadium for the match.

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