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Dutch police on alert as Feyenoord fans produce T-shirt threatening Roma fans

Football News | Article posted on February 25th, 2015

Feyenoord fans have risked raising tensions even further ahead of the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie against Roma on Thursday after producing T-shirts with a provocative message threatening revenge for events at last week’s first leg.
Police in Rotterdam are tightening security and drafting in reinforcements ahead of the match after Feyenoord fans rioted in Rome before the first leg last week, clashing with police, damaging a recently renovated fountain near the Spanish Steps and leaving part of the city’s historic centre strewn with beer cans and smashed bottles. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, setting up a tense return leg in Rotterdam on Thursday.
Those tensions are likely to be even higher given the images of the T-shirt which appeared on Twitter on Wednesday. Sporting a picture of the 17th-century Fontana della Barcaccia with the message “Je Suis Fountain”, the T-shirt goes on to say: “Just kidding. See you Thursday you stabbing AS Roma scum.”
Fearing that visiting Roma fans may want to take revenge before the match, the Rotterdam police spokesman Gijs van Nimwegen said officers will, if necessary, be given emergency powers to eject trouble-making fans from the city. “We have known about this match for weeks and it already was considered a highest category risk,” Van Nimwegen said.
In light of last week’s riots, he added: “We have increased the number of police involved from our original plans.”
He said police estimate that about 2,700 Roma fans will travel to Rotterdam for the match at De Kuip Stadium and that about 10%of them could be potential trouble makers.
A small number of Italian police who know the Roma fans will also be on hand to help their Dutch counterparts identify possible hooligans.
Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is drafting an emergency order that police can invoke if hooligans begin rioting, giving police enhanced powers to detain fans and eject them from the city, Van Nimwegen said.
Roma fans will be gathered around the city’s historic old port and kept segregated from Feyenoord fans. Busses will transport them to the stadium ahead of the match.
Meanwhile, Dutch authorities said on Tuesday evening that they are supporting private fundraising initiatives aiming to help pay for the repair of the 400-year-old Fontana della Barcaccia that was damaged last week in Rome.
The government and Rotterdam municipality are prepared to act as guarantors for repairs, but Aboutaleb said the hooligans responsible for the damage should ultimately be prosecuted and made to foot the bill.
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