Two charged over Spurs fans attack

Andover Advertiser: Broken glass and overturned tables and stools inside The Drunken Ship pub in Rome (AP) Broken glass and overturned tables and stools inside The Drunken Ship pub in Rome (AP)

Two men have been charged with attempted murder after English football fans were attacked in Rome, police have said.

Officers said two Roma fans - Francesco Ianari, 26, and Mauro Pinnelli, 25 - were charged after Tottenham Hotspur fan Ashley Mills suffered knife wounds to his head and leg during an ambush at the Drunken Ship pub in Campo de Fiori while he and fellow supporters enjoyed a drink in the Eternal City at 1am on Thursday.

A police spokeswoman said: "They have been charged with attempted murder for involvement in riots and causing serious injury with a knife and are due to appear in court soon."

Mr Mills is recovering in hospital after up to 50 Italian thugs stormed the pub armed with knives, baseball bats, knuckle-dusters and broken bottles. The 25-year-old, of Hutton, Essex, was hurt along with at least 10 other Spurs fans who were targeted in what was believed to have been an anti-semitic attack.

It has been reported that yob fans of Lazio - known as Ultras, renowned hooligans - launched the attack while shouting abuse about the Spurs supporters' historical Jewish links.

During the Europa league tie on Thursday night Lazio fans chanted "Juden Tottenham" - using the German word for Jew, and also unfurled a "Free Palestine" banner. The chanting came from the Curva Nord, where the Lazio Ultras sit.

The club denied its fans were involved in the attacks, which saw innocent Spurs fans and bystanders scrambling for cover. Before the game, club president Claudio Lotito said: "Lazio fans had nothing to do with what happened in Campo de Fiori. When it emerges who was really responsible, some people will be surprised. It is all too easy to speak about aggression from people whose faces are covered and say that they are Lazio fans."

Thursday morning's bloodshed only ended when teams of Carabinieri descended on the popular square after calls for back-up from local police. Arrests were made and police continue to assess evidence as well as examine suspects' backgrounds for any possible previous association with football violence.

Mr Mills's friends said he remembered little of what happened after being hit on the head.

Andrew Goszka, of Brentwood in Essex, said: "Ashley's never the sort to look for trouble, he's never been in any trouble, never looked for violence. If you know him, he's a nice guy to talk to. I don't know anyone who's got a bad word to say against him."

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