EXCLUSIVE: Friendly match between England and Italy supporters on Thursday is called OFF – after Napoli ultras said 60 hooligans were ‘coming’ for them in a chilling threat ahead of the countries’ Euro 2024 qualifier
- A friendly match between England and Italy supporters was targeted by thugs
- Sportsmail exclusively revealed on Sunday a fan was sent a threatening email
- And after speaking to authorities, the threat was enough to call the match off
A friendly game between England and Italy fans – which Sportsmail revealed was targeted by hooligans – has been called off.
On Sunday, we reported how organisers of the match – planned for Naples on the day of the European Championship qualifier between the two nations – had been sent a chilling, anonymous email.
It wanted that 60 of Napoli’s infamous ultras were ‘coming for you’ and added ‘you be warned only 1 times’.
Those from englandfans FC, who had set the game up, forwarded the threat to officials in Italy. And, following urgent discussions, the decision has been made to postpone the fixture.
The sad development comes amid concerns over fan safety at the qualifier, which will be played in the hooligan hotspot on Thursday night.
A friendly between England and Italy fans set to take place on Thursday has been called off after authorities decided it was not worth it following a chilling threat sent by Napoli ultras
The fan who organised the fixture with an Italian amateur team was sent a threatening email
The England supporter was warned hooligans would be ‘coming’ for him and his fellow players
The threat follows trouble which blighted Napoli’s Champions League clash against Frankfurt
Around 2,500 England fans are travelling to Naples which was last week the scene of riots between Eintracht Frankfurt, Napoli supporters and police ahead of the two clubs’ Champions League clash.
Three Lions’ manager Gareth Southgate insisted that the FA has had assurances over fan welfare and there is a school of thought that trouble may be averted as Napoli supporters tend to not to follow the national side.
However, many believe England fans will be targeted – and the cancellation of the friendly match will do little to quell fears.
Garford Beck, who organised the game, spoke of his sadness at the move. ‘What can we do?’ he said.
‘I had to forward the email on and now we have been told that the game is off. Having to send 100 police officers to deal with 60 mad men trying to attack us is not right and they have decided that it is not worth the hassle.
‘We will entertain the Italians in the return match.’
Beck, 60, believes travelling England fans may well be targeted.
‘With 2,500 going I would imagine the temptation will be too much and some will want to have a pop at them,’ he added.
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