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Abete furious after fan attack

24 Nov 2012 09:55:00

Abete furious after fan attack

The president of the Italian Football Association has no doubt that anti-Semitism was the motive behind the attack on Spurs fan Ashley Mills. Mills spent his third night in Rome's San Camillo Hospital recovering from stab wounds to his thigh and head. He was part of a group of Tottenham fans who were ambushed by a gang of thugs that beat nine supporters and three tourists in a pub in the Eternal City in the early hours of Thursday morning. FIGC president Giancarlo Abete and his English counterpart David Bernstein added their voices to the long list of people to condemn the attack on Friday. Confusion surrounded the identity of the attackers - two of whom have been charged with attempted murder - but Abete said on Friday night he thinks they are far right anti-Semites who ambushed the fans because of Tottenham's links to the Jewish community. An FIGC statement read: "Once again, football has given a handful of delinquents the excuse to take out their racist and anti-Semite anger. "There is evidence of this undoubted motive, which is detrimental to the image of Italian football and doesn't match with the traditional hospitality and welcome of the city of Rome. "The city authorities and I publicly express our firm condemnation, with my personal indignation at these events. "I beg you to send our apologies to all Tottenham's fans - and in particular to those families directly involved. "I will personally follow the investigation's development and remain at your disposal should my assistance in any further matters be required." In another unwanted twist for Italian football, Lazio fans appeared to chant anti-Semitic songs at the away support during Thursday's 0-0 draw in the Europa League. UEFA will decide whether to investigate the claims on Monday. Mills was enjoying a drink with fellow Tottenham fans at 'The Drunken Ship' in central Rome before falling victim to what officials have called a targeted and planned assault. The 25-year-old was stabbed as the hooligans - known as Ultras - stormed the pub, with a bystander stemming the bleeding before paramedics arrived and helped to save him. Speaking from his bedside at San Camillo Hospital, he told London's Evening Standard: "They came out of nowhere. "I didn't see the guy who stabbed me. There were too many of them. "I was standing outside drinking and the next thing I knew there were loads of them. "It happened very quickly, I don't remember much. "I remember being pulled out, along the ground, after I had been stabbed." Roma police confirmed on Friday that two men - both Roma fans - were in custody awaiting trial. A police spokeswoman said: "They have been charged with attempted murder for involvement in riots and causing serious injury with a knife and are due to appear in court soon." Arrests were made last night and police continue to assess evidence as well as examine suspects' backgrounds for any possible previous association with football violence.


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