FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Police said violent Eintracht Frankfurt supporters have been trying to provoke Napoli fans in the run-up to the teams’ Champions League game on Tuesday.
There have been “several attacks on Italian visiting fans by supporters from the Frankfurt high-risk fans’ scene,” Frankfurt police said in a statement.
Nine alleged hooligans were taken into custody and issued entry bans late Monday after police confiscated fighting gloves, balaclavas and face masks. The police said there were “well-known perpetrators of violence” among those arrested. Some 22 other Frankfurt supporters were also told to leave.
The police are considering Tuesday’s game high-risk and have many more officers on duty in the run-up than for a normal Bundesliga game.
“I can’t tell you the numbers involved but you won’t find a street corner in Frankfurt where there aren’t any officers,” police spokesman Thomas Hollerbach told The Associated Press.
It was peaceful around the city Tuesday afternoon, with warm sunshine hinting of spring to come, but Hollerbach said it was still quite early before the evening’s game.
”Our main thing is to keep the problem fans apart because if they reach each other it’s fairly certain there will be violence,” Hollerbach said.
On Monday, a group of between 10-15 violent Frankfurt fans attacked three Napoli fans by slapping them in the face in front of a bar in the district of Sachsenhausen. Later, another group of up to 20 Frankfurt supporters attacked three more Italian fans as they were leaving the same bar, police said. They said the Italian fans were slightly injured but did not need medical attention.
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