Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

Platini urges fans to make it a memorable final in Rome

UEFA President Michel Platini appealed to Manchester United and Barcelona fans to turn tonight's UEFA Champions League final into a soccer festival and not tarnish the event with violence.

More than 40,000 fans with tickets from England and Spain are expected in Rome and UEFA has organized fan zones for both sets of supporters as well as a festival site. However, several thousand fans, especially from England, are expected to arrive without tickets, and they are causing UEFA some concern.

Worst desecration

Platini, who experienced the worst desecration of European soccer's showpiece event as a Juventus player in the 1985 final after the Heysel Stadium disaster in which 39 Juventus fans were killed, said UEFA had every confidence the "dream final" between two of European soccer's most glamorous clubs would go ahead without trouble, even though UEFA is aware of the possibility it could occur.

"This is going to be a wonderful match, and the whole world will be glued to this event, that is why it is important that everyone behaves themselves," Platini said.

"Football must show itself in the best positive light. UEFA is at the service of the fans, as was the case last year with waiving the visas for Moscow and will be the case this year, as we have done everything possible to make sure that they can enjoy the atmosphere, the event and the celebration of football.

"We are therefore counting on the fans to have a good time and to behave. Enjoy Rome, enjoy the festivities and most of all enjoy the football."

UEFA has worked with the Italian police and security services over the last two years to ensure that the match goes ahead without trouble.

"We are fully aware there is a history of incidents in Rome caused by the rogue elements among some fans in the city, but we are not aware of any issues between Barcelona and Manchester United fans and we are expecting them to really enjoy the match in one of the world's greatest cities," Rob Faulkner, UEFA's head of communications, said.

"One area that does concern us is the large number of ticketless fans ... We are asking the fans with tickets to make their way to the stadium early and to be well-prepared and we are asking fans without tickets not to travel."

UEFA had threatened to take the final away from Rome if AS Roma's Champions League quarterfinal against United last season was marred by the sort of violence that occurred on United's previous two visits to the city.

That did not happen but Arsenal fans were attacked before its team knocked out Roma in a last-16 second leg match in March.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend