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Two Italian men charged in attack on Tottenham supporters

Associated Press

11/23/2012 10:52:50 AM

ROME -- Two Italian men identified as Roma fans were arrested and charged Friday with attempted murder in an attack on Tottenham supporters at a popular bar ahead of the English club's Europa League match against Lazio.

Seven people were injured, one with a knife wound, in the attack early Thursday at a pub in Campo de' Fiori square.

Witnesses said the hooligans shouted "Jew" during the attack. Tottenham is known for having a large Jewish fan base from north London.

The stabbing victim, Ashley Edward Mills, remained in reserved condition Friday after his femoral artery was gashed with a cut on his right thigh, according to a statement from Rome's San Camillo hospital.

Police said that after investigations of 15 people and searches of homes, officers arrested Francesco Ianari, 26, and Mauro Pinnelli, 25. Police identified them as fans of Roma, Lazio's crosstown rivals.

Police they were charged with causing a fight, causing injury and attempted homicide; one of the two also was charged with drug possession. They are due to appear before a judge on Saturday.

Lazio fans were initially suspected but the team denied its supporters were involved. Police said around 50 people rampaged through "The Drunken Ship" pub, which was badly damaged.

Ronald Lauder, the World Jewish Congress president, called on European soccer governing body UEFA to take strong action against Lazio if it fails to crack down on racist outbursts by fans.

Already, UEFA is waiting to receive a report from the English Football Association into alleged anti-Semitic chants directed by Lazio fans at Tottenham during Thursday's match, which finished 0-0. UEFA fined Lazio C40,000 ($51,600) for its fans' racist behaviour when the teams played in London in September.