Italian Hooligans Jailed After Rome Assault on Tottenham Fans

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2013

ROME, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 22:  AS Roma fans support their team during the Serie A match between AS Roma and SS Lazio at Stadio Olimpico on September 22, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Two Italian football hooligans charged with attacking Tottenham fans at a pub in the centre of Rome have been jailed for four and five years, reports the Evening Standard's Tom Kington.

Francesco Ianari, 27, faces four years and five months in jail, while Mauro Pinnelli, 26, was handed a sentence of five years and six months for grievous bodily harm.

The pair were part of a larger group of thugs that left 13 Spurs fans injured and one, Ashley Mills, fighting for his life.

/Getty Images

Mills has since made a full recovery, as reported by Adam Shergold in the Daily Mail, and police described the vile assault as “urban guerrilla warfare" according to Kington.

Smoke bombs and tear gas were part of the seemingly planned ambush at the Drunken Ship pub, as visiting supporters were attacked with knives, iron bars and even ripped-off chair legs.

Tottenham were due to face Lazio in a Europa League tie, although both Ianari and Pinnelli are Roma fans, with Ianari previously banned from attending football grounds.

Lazio were charged with singing anti-semitic songs during the match—per Nick Squires of the Daily Telegraph—and displayed a provocative "Free Palestine" banner. They had originally been suspected of organising the raid themselves, but supporters of their bitter rivals were also involved that night.

The group of around 20 hooligans was comprised of supporters from both Rome clubs, with the attack linked to Spurs' Jewish heritage, per Kington's report.

Both clubs have had a history of racist incidents; repeated offences left Lazio recently playing with a stand shut, as reported by BBC Sport, while Roma fans aimed racist chants at Mario Balotelli last season, per The Mirror's Joe Mewis.  

Another 10 Italians are still being investigated, as Squires reports, with further punishments still possible.