Fans’ match cancelled amid violent threats from Napoli’s Ultras ahead of England v Italy Euro qualifier
AMID the chaos surrounding the Three Lions travelling to Naples to take on the Azzurri, a friendly match between fans has been cancelled following threats from local thugs.
The devastating blow comes after Brits were targeted in an “online threat” by an Italian Ultra group ahead of this week’s European Championship qualifier between England and Italy.
A group of British football fans have been targeted by dangerous Italian UltrasCredit: Rex
The threat was believed to come from a Napoli Ultra group, who have a bad reputationCredit: Getty
More than 2,500 Brits are expected to the travel to the Euro qualifierCredit: Getty
The die-hard fans were set to play a friendly match against their Italian counterparts in celebration of the international showdown.
However, earlier this week a threatening email purporting to be from a Naples Ultra group was sent to a member of the “EnglandfansFC”.
Garford Beck, organiser and lifelong England fan, was the man on the receiving end of it and immediately raised concerns with football officials.
The 60-year-old told the Times he feared for his team’s safety.
He said: “I received a very sinister and threatening email purporting to be from the Napoli Ultras this morning.
“It read, ‘You advertise this game for us to see where you’ll be. We will be there. 60 ultra to get you. Be warned.’
“I’ve been in contact with my oppo at the FIGC [Italian FA].
“I showed it to him and said ‘can you show it to the local authorities and police and see if they think it is a viable threat.’
“Our contact at the FIGC spoke with their security officer.
“They came back and said, ‘We are very concerned.’
“They are treating it very seriously and have judged it to be a viable threat.”
Despite the Italian FA efforts to monitor the situation, the friendly match was later called off this afternoon due to possible threats to the welfare of fans.
It comes as more than 2,500 Three Lions’ fans are expected to travel Napoli’s Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Thursday – an area now fraught with danger.
Just last week, the streets of Naples were overwhelmed with thuggish violence before Napoli’s Champions League match with Eintracht Frankfurt.
The German supporters defied a police ban and clashed with Napoli Ultras, which left more than eight hooligans arrested.
On March 15, there was carnage on the streets of Naples following a football matchCredit: Rex
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