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Italy arrests five Frankfurt fans before Europa League game

Rome (AFP) – Italian police on Thursday arrested five Eintracht Frankfurt fans after clashes near the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, where their team beat Lazio in the Europa League.

Nearly 9,000 German fans were in the Italian capital for the match between the teams, who had already qualified from Group H, with Eintracht in first place and Lazio in second.

Most of the away supporters were escorted directly to the stadium in coaches.

But a group of 200 to 300 fans attempted on foot to get through a police block next to the stadium in a bid to reach the Lazio supporters, setting off smoke bombs and firecrackers, police said.

Frankfurt won 2-1 after coming back from a goal down thanks to two second-half strikes.

Shortly after Lazio scored, German fans had charged the pitch, before stewards and police marched them off.

Hundreds of Eintracht Frankfurt supporters had camped out earlier Thursday in the historic Piazza del Popolo in the heart of Rome, which they left littered with beer bottles.

Traffic in the Italian capital ground to a halt ahead of the game, with delays sparked by the police clampdown worsened by rain.

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