Sports

2 Italian fans arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of Liverpool fan after pre-game clashes

Tuesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final match between Italys Roma and Englands Liverpool was marred by violent clashes between fans near Anfield football stadium just before kick-off.

The clashes resulted in the hospitalization of at least one man, a 53-year-old Liverpool fan believed to be from Ireland, who remains in a critical condition with head injuries. Nine men, aged between 20 and 43, were arrested for various offences, including attempted murder.

Two men from Rome, aged 25 and 26, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Merseyside Police reports.

Two men arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after 53-year-old man assaulted before the Champions League semi-final. https://t.co/v6yIV4VohC

— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) April 24, 2018

Video footage of the clashes shows a group of football hooligans, apparently Roma fans, attacking a man in a blue jacket, using swinging belts; while another man, visibly unconscious, lay on the ground nearby.

Photos taken on the spot also show a hammer in the hand of one of the hooligans.

Pre-match trouble outside Anfield started when group of Roma fans arrived via Venmore St, burst on to Walton Breck Rd & attacked, many using belts. #LFC fan knocked to floor & received lengthy medical treatment. Skirmishes, projectiles, at least 1 hammer in hand, police arrived pic.twitter.com/Yaby4q5f0Y

— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) April 24, 2018

UEFA has since released a statement on the incident.

“UEFA is deeply shocked by the vile attack that occurred ahead of Liverpool FC v AS Roma and our thoughts are with the victim and his family," it read.

"The perpetrators of this ignominious attack have no place in football and we trust they will be dealt with utmost severity by the authorities. UEFA is waiting to receive full reports before deciding on potential disciplinary charges."

The match itself finished in favor of the host team 5-2.

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