AS Roma and Napoli fans face lengthy travel bans following motorway clashes

There were some ugly scenes on the autostrada recently as fans of AS Roma and Napoli clashed, and the repercussions could be severe.

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After violence between AS Roma and Napoli fans, heading north to separate fixtures on Matchday 17 of Serie A, disgraced Italian football once more, the countries authorities could ban their supporters from away fixtures for as long as two months.

The clashes by the services on the A1 motorway near Badia al Pino caused traffic backlogs of up to 15km last weekend and La Gazzetta dello Sport suggests that Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi will hand the duo the biggest punishments possible to discourage future episodes.

With Napoli chasing a first Scudetto since 1989/90 and the Giallorossi chasing Champions League qualification under Jose Mourinho, a short-term ministerial decree banning fans or stopping providers from offering travel will see both sets of supporters miss some memorable moments on the pitch.

Ministry will not rush decision

Although Piantedosi is under pressure to deliver his verdict on the incidents on 8 January 2023, he asked for time to fully consider what action they must take against the Serie A duo.

“I have read wishes from many quarters to take swift action against those who are believed to be responsible for certain actions,” the minister reiterated to the media, but insisted he was “evaluating and had not yet taken measures. There will be an evaluation in the next few hours after the analysis committee, but it would be strange if after the chorus of indignation, no decisions were taken.”

“There will be measures to protect public order and against the fans affected by the clashes in Badia al Pino. I think there are reasons for issuing a significant number of bans.”

Tammy Abraham scores the late equaliser for AS Roma against AC Milan. [@OfficialASRoma]

Roma ultras leave message for their rivals

When the Giallorossi ultras returned to the capital after the clashes, and after clinching a last-gasp draw with AC Milan, they unveiled two banners in the Tuscolana area of Rome from a bridge leading to the city centre heavily masked to disguise their identities.

The first dedicated to Napoli read “You’ve been screaming for revenge for years, but not even 50 [people] against 300. Forget it, listen to me”, while the second referenced a banner displayed by Partenopei followers in 2014 after the death of Ciro Esposito during similar clashes.

Napoli ultras declared, in sign form, that “every word [of apology] is in vain. If there is an opportunity, we will have no mercy.” However, the Roman response to their rivals nine years later of “if there will be an opportunity.. well, that’s all?”, could yet fuel further animosity.

The authorities are now reviewing any available security footage to find those responsible, if possible.

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