Top Stories

Friday Ticker: Italy PM demands apology over fan riots; Van Gaal questions Van Persie’s starting spot; and more



Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi wants an apology from Feyenoord after their fans clashed with Italian police on Thursday.

Per a Goal report, before the match between Feyenoord and Roma, tensions erupted and Feyenoord supporters fought with Italian police causing damage to a number of monuments in the Italian capital. Now, Renzi is demanding a response.

“It is totally unacceptable that an entire city can be held hostage by such a small group of people, who damaged some of Rome’s most iconic places,” Renzi told reporters. “This is inconceivable.

“We have already arrested some of the fans and they will be punished severely. Italian fans don’t behave like this when they travel abroad.”

Among the damaged items was the famous Fontana della Barcaccia fountain from 1629.

Here are some more of Friday afternoon’s news and notes:


Louis Van Gaal has a tough choice ahead when it comes to Robin Van Persie.

The Manchester United coach is questioning how he will integrate Van Persie moving forward as the Dutchman returns to the lineup after an injury that kept him out of the 3-1 FA Cup win against Preston on Monday.

Manchester United square off against Swansea City on Saturday, and Van Persie will be available for selection. But the United manager will have to decide whether to shake things up by playing Van Persie or keep United captain Rooney up top along with Falcao.

“When you see the scores of the last 19 or 20 matches, we are the best team in the league,” Van Gaal told The Guardian.

“So that is why I think confidence is also high like it was at the beginning. The players know and have experience of playing in the system with my philosophy.”


Jose Mourinho has Chelsea sitting atop of the Premier League table this season and that that’s apparently good enough to keep him around for another four years.

The Times report says the Portuguese manager is expected to be offered an enticing four-year package, with discussions on the cards once the season is over.

Meanwhile, Chelsea captain John Terry is ready to sign a one-year extension with the club he has called home for 18 years. Mourinho confirmed to Goal that the English defender will pen the extension at the end of this season.

“John accepted that we go year-after-year, with a smile,” the Portuguese said of the 34-year-old. “He accepted the challenge and he won it and he is winning the challenge and the right to get one more year.

“That is what the club wants, that’s what John wants and that is going to happen.”


West Ham United have been fined about $46,000 for not properly controlling their players in their 0-0 draw against Southampton on Feb. 11.

According to BBC Sport, the sanction relates to an incident which followed the dismissal of West Ham goalkeeper Adrian when he handled the ball outside his penalty area. His red card was later overturned.

West Ham has come out and admitted that they failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly manner.


    • You mean Black Europeans. African Americans are an ethnicity in the united states only. If you are Thierry Henry, you are not African American

      • Excuse me, where do you think the name of the continent comes from? AFRICAn-americans. Read a book once in a while.

      • Easy Del…I think Anthony’s response was to what I’d guess to be an implied reference to Italian fans and common racial abuse toward players of African descent….who rather than African-American would more than likely be African-Italian, African-French…. African-African… except they’d likely just be referred to as say… Ghanian. Ah the ridiculous web we weave when we begin to hyphenate/subdivide peoples.

      • Del,

        You insulting comment simply betrays your OWN ignorance to simple (and right comment by Anthony). African Americans are an American ethnic group (primarily black or mixed race black people). As someone who spent a good part of his youth and adulthood in Europe and still has family there, NOBODY refers to Black Europeans as African Americans. For example in the UK, they are categorized as Black British of either Caribbean or African descent. There are very few African Americans (outside Germany) in proportion to the population of Blacks in Europe. In fact, the there are more (more than twice as many) non-black Africans (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco) in France than Black Africans.

        So.. YOU read a book!

      • Del,

        You comment is moronic (how is that for name calling/insults)! You do know that African Americans are a distinct ethnic group with a distinct history and culture. The term is not used to describe black people everywhere in the world,only in the US. They are very different from Nigerian/Ghanaian immigrants to UK or Cameroonian/Congolese/Senegalese/ Martinique immigrants to France etc.

        A White American whose family has been here for 300 years is not the same as a White Russia who immigrated to Germany. To think the same is ignorant and foolish! Thierry Henry is not African American. He is a Black Frenchman of Antilles descent. I have lived in Europe as an adult. Trust me, no one calls a Black man or woman an African American. What Paul says is right. There are actually more non-Black Africans than Black Africans in France.

        PS – They throw bananas at black and brown players (Dani Alves). They also harass Asia players, but there aren’t nearly as many. I remember an incident when Lazio fans booed every non-White player who touched the ball (including Asians). Italy and Eastern Europe (frankly Europe in general) have horrible race relations, but they seem to think that they are better than Americans. I saw their issues as an outsider. I just thought there were more extremes: more accepting when they are or more closed minded when they are.

  1. I spent some time abroad in the 70’s as an amateur athlete and was appalled at the level of football violence in the UK and Holland at the time, with Holland being the worse. It is an exact opposite of the Dutch people who were friendly, warm and very tolerant (unlike France, who were rather insular)

    I think at that time (70’s/80’s) “hooliganism” was at its all time worse and was not controlled until UEFA and football federations started cracking down on supporters groups and checking arrest records to deny visa’s/permits to the worst and repeat offenders.

    I think with the advent of looser travel restrictions in the EF , this was bound to repeat itself. With the rise of many neo-nazi hate groups in Eastern Europe, middle east immigrants with extremist ties, and just drunk hooligans, the potential for a disaster is still real and relevant.

    • For some reason, Dutch fans are lunatics, especially Ajax and Feyenoord fans. Back in the 70s and 80s of course, the level of violence was much much worse. Seems like it was pretty insane back then.

      • Both of you describe some of the past and present lunatics using violence to distract from the great sport of soccer. The local communities and involved countries need to control these scumbags. But what is FIFA going to do about the international violence which the idiotic Putin has presently released and is conducting in eastern Ukraine? Will FIFA abet and support this blatant mass killing by still having the WC in Russia?? I hope they change the 2018 Russian WC venue very soon!!!

Leave a Comment