Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018

Soccer: Rome derby cup final stirs excitement, concern


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, April 18 - Rome is looking forward to the
Italian Cup final on May 26 with a mix of excitement and
trepidation after both of the capital's Serie A sides reached
the competition's climax.
A Mattia Destro double helped AS Roma beat Inter Milan 3-2
at the San Siro on Wednesday to complete a 5-3 aggregate
semi-final win and set up a showdown with Lazio, who knocked out
Serie A champions Juventus in the last four in January.
It will be the first time that the final, which is set to
take place at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on May 26, is also a Rome
"There's just one match left in this competition and it
will be a unique event for Rome," said Roma captain Francesco
The concern is that the final could be marred by the
violence that has frequently hit Rome derbies in the past,
including the league match between the sides that took place
earlier this month.
Four people were arrested for involvement in the violence
that saw eight people stabbed in a series of running battles.
None were seriously injured, even though an ambulance
arriving to provide medical assistance was attacked too. Police
intervened with tear gas and seized knives, screwdrivers, clubs
and even an axe.
The four arrested were Romans aged between 24 and 27 who
have now been banned from attending a sporting event for five
There has been even worse trouble in previous years.
In 1979, Lazio fan Vincenzo Paparelli was hit in the eye
and killed by a flare fired by a Roma fan from the opposite end
of the stadium.
A derby in 2004 was abandoned when hard-core ultra fans
walked up to pitch to tell the players about reports that a
child had been killed by a police car outside the stadium. The
reports were false.
A long battle ensued between police and fans outside the
ground afterwards.
Roma coach Aurelio Andreazzoli, however, said he was
hopeful there would no be no such trouble and is relishing the
game, which represents both teams' only hope of winning a trophy
this season.
"The thought of a derby like this, played on a May
afternoon, gives me goose pimples, not so much for the players,
but for the fans," he said
Rival players and supporters, meanwhile, have already
started teasing each other ahead of the final.
Roma's Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said he was
disappointed his side won't be up against "better" opposition
than Lazio.
"These are the sort of things you say, maybe to fire up the
squad," responded Lazio captain Stefano Mauri.
"We're already charged up enough and we can't wait to play
the game".

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