The Coppa Italia final is finally underway, but as officials met in the wake of pre-match violence in Rome, Fiorentina and Napoli’s chance to claim silverware was in anger of being postponed. With one person in critical condition after gunfire rang out amid conflicted outside the Stadio Olimpico, Napoli fans wanted the game delayed until the health of supporters could be confirmed. Electing to proceed with the match after a delay, officials are overseeing a final overshadowed by potentially tragic events off the field.
According to Sky Sports and La Repubblica, the conflicts took place in the Tor di Quinto area outside the stadium, with confrontations between opposing fans leaving between four and six people injured, including a police officer. Three Napoli fans were reportedly shot, with one fan in critical condition at nearby Villa San Pietro hospital
Another person, a firefighter, was injured inside the stadium by fireworks thrown by fans. “Firecrackers and other objects” were also thrown between fans outside the stadium.
From our partners at Soccerly:
Representatives of Napoli, Fiorentina and the Italian football authorities took part in discussions in the middle of the pitch, while Partenopei captain Marek Hamsik approached the Napoli fans in the curva in an attempt to calm the situation.
After a shower of flares rained from the Napoli supporters, Hamsik and the leader of the Ultras seemingly came to an agreement and the player made his way to the tunnel with an announcement moments later that the game will be played.
The fate of the game remained up in the air until 14 minutes after the planned kick off when it was decided to play the match.
Three Napoli supporters had suffered gunshot wounds in a violent prelude to Saturday’s Italian Cup final against Fiorentina in Rome, Italian media reported.
According to the Ansa news agency, one of them, a man in his 30s, was fighting for his life in hospital while the two other fans suffered light injuries.
After 19 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico, Napoli is current in front, 2-0.