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 By Ben Gladwell
Jun 24, 2014

Napoli fan shot before Coppa final dies

A day of mourning has been declared in Naples after the death of the Napoli fan who was shot before last month's Coppa Italia final.

Ciro Esposito died on Wednesday morning after 50 days of treatment in a Rome hospital. He had been on a life support machine before his situation deteriorated and he died from multiple organ failure.

"Ciro has died, and in Naples we are announcing a day of mourning for Ciro, his family and for our people," Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris wrote on Twitter. "We want to say no to the link between football and violence."

Esposito's parents made an announcement in which they pleaded for no reprisals for the shooting of their son by Daniele De Santis, a member of the Roma Ultra's group of fans. De Santis is being detained by police at a secret location.

"Our Ciro is a civil hero," the statement, published by La Gazzetta dello Sport, said. "He heard babies screaming and he died in saving others. Now we want the accomplices of Daniele De Santis to be found and brought to justice. We want justice, not a vendetta.

"We would like to thank the doctors and surgeons at the Policlinico Gemelli for their professionalism. We would also like to thank the president of Napoli, the mayor of Naples and the president of the eighth municipal district of Naples."

Napoli published several tweets expressing their condolences. One read: "This tragedy has got to make the whole footballing world and the institutions who work with it reflect," while another said: "I'd like to express to his parents and all of his family my heartfelt condolences, as well as those of Calcio Napoli. Aurelio De Laurentiis [the Napoli president]."

Napoli coach Rafa Benitez wrote on his official web page: "Situations like this force me to rethink many things. Where is football and society heading? Towards what limits are we taking it?

"The death of Ciro Esposito is something dramatic, unjustifiably, terrible... A young life cannot be lost when heading to a football game to watch their team. It makes no sense. This cannot happen ever again -- ever.

"I want to send from here all my respect, solidarity and all my love to the family and friends of Ciro Esposito. My condolences. Rest in peace."

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