Tirana (AFP) – Violent clashes broke out in Tirana on Tuesday night ahead of the Conference League final between Roma and Feyenoord, as Dutch fans attacked a local man and injured 10 police officers, authorities said.
Eight Feyenoord fans were arrested for battering an Albanian man with a chair when he showed his support for the Roma team, and he had to be taken to hospital, police said in a statement.
A group of around 200 Feyenoord fans also clashed with police while trying to reach the area where Roma fans were located.
Supporters of the Italian club also attacked authorities with sticks and stones.
“Ten police officers were injured and a police bus was damaged by these ‘acts of violence’,” the police said.
Rival fans clashed in at least three locations in Tirana, as seen by an AFP reporter.
A total of 60 supporters of both teams were arrested, said the police.
Although the venue for Wednesday’s final, the National Arena in Tirana, has the capacity of only 21,000 seats, it is expected that a total of around 100,000 fans of both teams will come to the Albanian capital for the game.
According to local authorities, fans will be divided into separate fan zones and will be able to watch the final on giant TV screens.
Prior to the incidents, Albanian police said they have deployed 2,000 officers to ensure the match will be “transformed into a day of celebration”.
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