Two Brighton football fans stabbed by 'masked gang' in Rome ahead of Europa league match

The football fans were taken to hospital with minor wounds after the incident Credit: PA

Two Brighton fans have been stabbed in Rome ahead of the club’s Europa League last-16 clash with AS Roma.

The pair were attacked as they left a bar on Wednesday night and taken to hospital with minor wounds, the club confirmed to ITV News.

It is understood they have since been discharged and that English police liaison officers and the British Consulate are providing help and support.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police can confirm our dedicated football officer PC Darren Balkham is in Rome to work alongside our Italian counterparts and European partner agencies.”

PC Balkham posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to say he had spoken to both fans who are OK.

He said: "We reiterate the advice of the club published on the pre match info."

Italian media reports the two men, aged 27 and 28, were attacked and stabbed in the thighs before being robbed by a masked gang of around seven people in the Monti district of the capital.

They were found bleeding by a restaurant worker.

Police attended and are investigating, according to Italian newspaper La Republicaa.

Around 3,500 Brighton supporters have travelled to Rome for the first leg of the tie, which kicks off at 5.45pm GMT.

The club warned fans in advance to take extra safety precautions, saying: “Street crime, including pickpocketing, can take place in Rome. Be vigilant, take sensible precautions and have valid travel insurance.”

Albion fans have also been advised by Italian police to avoid flags and colours in the city.

Seagulls supporters attending the game have been asked to use a free shuttle service to get to and from the Stadio Olimpico and to arrive early.

The Ponte Duca d’Aosta bridge and the immediate area around it should be avoided for safety reasons, along with the south side of the stadium, the club said.

Supporters will be held back up to an hour after the final whistle for safety reasons and are being asked to remain patient until permitted to leave.

Fans will then be taken by shuttle buses to Piazza dei Cinquecentro, which is around a 20-minute walk from where the incident took place last night.

Earlier this season, 58-year-old Newcastle fan Eddie McKay suffered stab wounds when he was attacked in the Navigli area of Milan the night before the Magpies’ Champions League clash with AC Milan at the San Siro Stadium.

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