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Rome's mayor blasts Frankfurt 'beasts' who caused chaos in city

Italian police remove Frankfurt supporters from Piazza del Popolo square in Rome.
Frankfurt fans caused mayhem in Rome ahead of their Europa League win over Lazio.

The mayor of Rome has branded the Frankfurt fans who went on the rampage in the city this week as "beasts."

Ahead of Frankfurt's 2-1 win at Lazio in the Europa League, monuments were damaged in and around Piazza del Popolo, where a group of around 300 fans threw flares and cherry bombs, and they continued to cause disruption as they marched down the city's streets, leaving empty glass beer bottles and refuse scattered over the floor.

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi condemned their behaviour on Thursday evening, saying she does not want to see hooliganism in the city again.

"There's a game of football going on and these hooligans came down from Germany tonight and they have substantially looted and devastated areas of our city," she told LA7 television. "I would like to say this: we welcome football fans to Rome with open arms because football is a fantastic sport which can unite people, but we don't want hooligans anymore.

"Rome is not a city where you can just go on the rampage and damage things. These beasts should stay at home. We want the fans, but not the beasts."

Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi demanded apologies from Feyenoord when a group of their fans damaged historic monuments in Piazza di Spagna in February 2015, and Raggi said she is sick of visitors showing no respect for her city, and that each incident is "bad for our image."

There were further incidents inside the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday night with flares and cherry bombs thrown at home fans and police and stewards had to prevent a group of Frankfurt supporters from invading the pitch.

UEFA announced later on Friday that it has opened disciplinary proceedings against Frankfurt for setting off fireworks, field invasion by supporters, throwing objects and acts of damages.

The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on Jan. 10, 2019.

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