Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Liverpool seek assurances over fan safety in Italy after attack on supporter left him fighting for life

Sean Cox is fighting for his life following the assault. Credit: Merseyside Police

Liverpool have taken the "exceptional" step of requesting a meeting with UEFA, Roma and Italian police to address concerns over fan safety at next week's Champions League tie.

The request came after two Italian men were remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with an incident which left Liverpool fan, Sean Cox, fighting for his life.

Filippo Lombardi, 20, and Daniele Sciusco, 29, both appeared at South Sefton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, charged with violent disorder after the Champion’s League semi-final at Anfield on Tuesday.

Lombardi was also charged with wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm on 53-year-old Mr Cox, who suffered serious head injuries when he was assaulted before the match between Liverpool and Roma.

Flares were set off before the match. Credit: PA

It is believed Liverpool requested the meeting after becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of detailed arrangements in response to their request for clarity on a number of security issues for Wednesday's semi-final second leg and want the issues sorted on Friday.

Liverpool have sold 5,000 tickets for the upcoming match, but despite several meetings and lengthy correspondence they remain troubled by the lack of evidence of planning put in place in the Italian city.

The club want answers on issues like plans for a safe shuttle service for fans from the Stadio Olimpico - with Liverpool prepared to meet additional costs - what time turnstiles open, which areas of the city are to be avoided and what safe routes are available if there is no shuttle service.

Supporters also face identity checks at the turnstiles after Roma requested each ticket be individually named, creating concerns there could be significant bottlenecks entering the stadium.

Fighting erupted near The Albert pub, close to the ground, shortly before kick-off. Credit: PA

A delegation from the club, which raised fears immediately after the draw was made, was due to travel to Rome on Thursday in the hope of getting some answers.

In a statement, Liverpool said it was "continuing to do everything in its power to provide supporters travelling to Rome next week with the most comprehensive safety and security advice" and that it hopes the "extraordinary meeting will provide the necessary reassurances and essential information.

"This, if provided, will allow the club to fully inform supporters of the measures that will be in place.

"The club thanks its fans for their on-going engagement on this issue and would hope to provide a detailed update following the meeting."

Supporters without tickets have been advised not to travel to the Italian capital for the tie, which Liverpool lead 5-2 from the first leg.