Clash between Albanian police and Italian and Dutch fans; 12 injured

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Albanian police on Tuesday reported at least ten officers and two civilians injured in clashes with Dutch and Italian fans a day before the Europa Conference League final between Dutch club Feyenoord and Italy’s Roma.

Two separate groups of opposing fans clashed with police in separate areas as they tried to approach each other, a police statement said.

Dutch fans threw plastic and glass bottles and other objects at police officers. In another incident, Italian fans used hard objects and batons to clash with police.

Police said 48 Italian fans and 12 Dutch people “involved in acts of violence” have been arrested.

Feyenoord and Roma are traditional clubs with large fan bases and notoriously violent elements among their supporters. They were gathered in separate “fan zones” one kilometer (0.6 miles) apart.

Albanian authorities have taken extreme precautions for a “holiday”, a car-free day in the city center on Wednesday that has been declared a public holiday.

Up to 100,000 fans are expected in Tirana, although each club will be allocated just 4,000 tickets for the opening final of the third-tier European tournament, which should give smaller clubs a shot at continental competition.

The capacity of the National Arena is less than 20,000.

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