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Feb 22, 2013

Moenchengladbach fans attacked in Rome

Three Borussia Monchengladbach fans were stabbed in Rome ahead of the club's Europa League match with Lazio on Thursday, a club official confirmed.

The attacks come just four months after Tottenham supporters had been attacked in a pub in the city ahead of their Europa League match against the Italian side, with one supporter of the London club sustaining life-threatening injuries to his head.

However, upon making their way to the Olympic Stadium three Foals supporters were knifed by as-yet-unknown assailants in different locations.

"I can confirm the attacks," Volker Kluttmann, head of Monchengladbach security, confirmed to Rheinische Post on Friday. "Fortunately, they got off lightly. The fans got outpatient treatment, but have not been injured severely."

"Nobody is in a serious condition. We are in contact with them and they are doing well," Monchengladbach press officer Markus Aretz added. "One got a blow in the calf, another one in the thigh. Fortunately it is not dramatic."

According to the paper, Rome police were looking for the perpetrators among Lazio fans. Lazio president Claudio Lotio regretted the incidents but questioned if the attackers were from the Lazio camp.

"The police still needs to confirm that the attacks were made by fans or if they are isolated case that have nothing to do with Lazio-Tifosi," he is quoted in Rheinische Post. In German tabloid Bild the Lazio president added: "We should not cry wolf. The first two weren't really stabbed and the third one has a scratch at his gluteal muscle."

Lotito's sentiments were not echoed by Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno, who said: "We cannot accept that three German supporters were injured by hooligans of the opposition club."

Some 10,000 Gladbach supporters had followed the club to the Italian capital in their bid for a place in the Europa League last-16, having drawn the first leg 3-3 at home.

However, Lazio won the return fixture 2-0 to progress and book a tie against another German side, Stuttgart, in the last-16.