Arrest made after Coppa shooting

04 May 2014 12:46

An arrest has been made after a Napoli fan was left in a critical condition after being shot during clashes prior to Saturday night's Coppa Italia final.

Italian news agency ANSA reported on Sunday that Daniele De Santis, said be the head of a hardcore Roma fan group - has been arrested while in hospital in the capital, where he is receiving treatment for a fractured leg he suffered in the incidents which overshadowed the domestic showpiece.

The game was almost called off as Napoli fans called on their team not to play in light of the events away from the Stadio Olimpico.

A discussion between Napoli captain Marek Hamsik and the leader of Napoli's own hardcore fans' group - or 'ultras' - led to the game starting with a 45-minute delay.

Napoli ran out 3-1 winners, but few were talking about the actual match the morning after.

"These things happen from time to time and we all say how big a disgrace it is, yet nobody ever does anything about it," said Juventus coach Antonio Conte at a press conference in Turin.

"It will be the same again this time. We're getting worse and worse and the risk is that we'll arrive at a point where we can no longer remedy these delinquent acts.

"We need to stop taking a moral ground when things like this happen and start actually doing something about it."

Conte's disappointment was shared by the head of the Italian game, who branded the incidents outside the stadium and also inside, where Napoli fans threw flares and fireworks towards the field, injuring a fireman, before whistling the national anthem, a disgrace.

"As soon as you heard the whistles for the national anthem, you could feel what kind of tension and what problems there were," said the president of the Italian federation Giancarlo Abete.

"Football is a victim of a situation which goes beyond the actual game. Ultras are using the stadiums to manifest their power.

"It's a fact that, in some grounds, the ultras have an unacceptable role. We are ready to do our bit to reverse this worrying trend, with no ifs and no buts."

Meanwhile, the Napoli fan who was shot in the back, named in reports as Ciro Esposito, remains in a serious condition in a Rome hospital.

"All I can do is pray," the 30-year-old's mother said to the Gazzetta dello Sport. "I had told my son to be careful, that it was dangerous, but I never thought it would be like this.

"I never imagined it could get to the point where somebody starts shooting, and at my Ciro.

"He wasn't armed. All he had were the three Casatielli (Neapolitan savoury cakes) that I had baked for him."

Esposito's father added: "My son is just a lad like any other who is passionate about Napoli.

"They attacked him while he was going to the stadium, but he didn't do anything; he didn't provoke anybody."

Source: PA