Already before 3 p.m., the Old Town Square was occupied by almost twenty police cars or vans. At first glance, it was clear that the police do not take the presence of Italian Roma fans in Prague lightly.
The list News already described the story of a Slavia fan who was stabbed by someone in Rome. Therefore, hundreds of police officers were monitoring Roma fans in the streets not only because of this case. The original information was that the group would go from Staroměstské náměstí by metro to Želivského station and then walk to the Slavie stadium.
However, not a large number of fans gathered in the square, a few dozen of them were in the nearby pubs.
“I’m from Rome, I’m in Prague for one day just for the match. There are a lot of police here, but it’s not a problem, that’s normal. We know the story of the stabbed fan, but it’s not our problem. We are here for the match,” describes one of the Italian fans in the Old Town Square, surrounded by friends with a team scarf around their necks.
Not far from the group is 19-year-old Francesco with his friend. “There are a lot of police here, but that was also the case in Rome. I heard about the story of the stabbed Czech fan, I hope nothing happens today,” says the young Italian, who plans to stay in Prague until Sunday.
See how the Italian fans marched through Prague:
But the largest number of Italian fans gathered around Náměstí Miru. A large group of AS Rím supporters marched, accompanied by heavy-duty soldiers who guarded them from all sides, and there were also members of the anti-conflict team.
The Czech police officers were also helped by Italian colleagues who gave instructions to the fans in Italian. Fans walked along French, Moscow and Copenhagen streets towards the stadium. They chanted as they marched, at one point the march stopped when several Italians jumped into a nearby lawn for a snack.
Intervention for covering the face
The heavy hitters had to intervene at the intersection in close proximity to the football stadium. Everything happened very quickly, when the Czech policemen lined up in a formation and then, like an arrow, broke through the forehead of a group of Italian fans and took one of them away.
Prague police spokesman Jan Daněk told Seznam Zprávám that the reason was the unauthorized covering of the face.
“We secured two as part of a trespass march. It was because of the ban on veiling,” the spokesman explained the reasons for the intervention.
After 5 p.m., the main group of fans, accompanied by the police, came to the stadium. The police were careful not to meet Slavia fans. “I’m in Prague for two days, I’m from Rome. We are here to win, it is an important game. I evaluate the security measures positively,” young Roma fan Giorgio told the Seznam Zpráv reporter at the stadium.
Many Slavia fans, such as Martin, were already waiting there.
“I expect it to be calm today. We’ll see what happens. I wasn’t in Rome, but I heard that they kept the fans there for several hours after the match and I saw evidence of stabbings,” said a Slavia fan before the match, which started at 18:45.