HomeEuropa Conference LeagueAlbanian police officers injured in violence ahead of Conference League final

Albanian police officers injured in violence ahead of Conference League final

Soccer Football – Europa Conference League – Final – Previews – Tirana, Albania – May 24, 2022 Fans in Tirana ahead of the Final REUTERS/Marko Djurica

TIRANA (Reuters) – Police in Albania said 19 officers were injured while trying to break up fights between Feyenoord and Roma fans ahead of Wednesday’s Europa Conference League final in Tirana.

The police were attacked by fans wielding glass bottles, sticks, stones and other objects. Four police cars were damaged.

“As a result of violence against police from the fans of both teams we have 19 officers injured and one of them is injured with a knife,” said Deputy General Director of Albanian police, Albert Dervishi.

Police said that 10 people — Albanian, Italian and Dutch nationals — were treated at Tirana hospitals for different injuries.

“In the early hours of this morning we have deported via the sea port of Durres 80 Italian hooligan fans,” Dervishi said.

The final is one of the biggest sporting events ever hosted by Albania, with authorities declaring Wednesday a public holiday and closing the main roads in the capital.

With the venue for the final having a capacity of only 21,690, thousands of fans of the Dutch and Italian sides are expected to watch the game in two different fan zones.

Police said they have taken measures to prevent outbreaks of violence during the day of the match.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci and Florion Goga; editing by Peter Rutherford and Martyn Herman)