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Aug 29, 2008

Platini issues UCL warning over Rome violence

UEFA president Michel Platini has warned that the Champions League final could be taken away from Rome if there are further outbreaks of violence this season.

Roma were drawn in a pool including Chelsea when the group stage was drawn on Thursday, raising fears of a repeat of the trouble that flared-up when Manchester United visited the Stadio Olimpico over the last two seasons.

The first leg of United's quarter-final tie against Roma in the 2007 competition was marred by scenes of crowd violence and police brutality.

A total of 11 United fans needed hospital treatment after heavy-handed tactics from Italian police inside the stadium and when the two sides met again in the group stage before Christmas in last season's tournament, five United fans were stabbed in the Italian capital.

Platini insisted that a repeat could bring the ultimate sanction: 'We can't tolerate this level of violence,' he said in The Guardian.

'If we have any more violence we could withdraw the Champions League final from Rome.

'It's not an ultimatum, just a message that we are keeping an eye on it.'

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