The ugly side of football revealed itself once again during Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League fixtures in England and Switzerland.
The hooligan football culture of Europe was on show before Arsenal’s match versus Napoli when Piebury Corner, a popular pre-game destination for a meal near the London club’s home ground, the Emirates, was mobbed by a group of travelling Italian fans.
The Neapolitan fans threw chairs and smashed windows during their rampage, which left the 50 or so customers inside the restaurant horrified as one customer was sent to hospital with a gash to his head.
Piebury Corner employee Emily Gould told The Mirror: “I was terrified. They started swinging belts around. The customers were very frightened.”
“There (was) blood all over the floor.”
Piebury Corner owner Paul Campbell was disappointed by the confrontation, saying it was ‘completely unprovoked’.
The incident in London was not the only act of hooliganism during the Champions League’s matchday two. In Basel, riot police were brought in to separate fans of the home side and German club Schalke outside St Jakob Park before kick-off. Inside the stadium, Schalke fans provided a sea of red light as flare after flare was sparked.