As we reported yesterday, an Irish Liverpool supporter, now identified as Sean Cox, 53, remains in critical condition after two Roma fans violently assaulted him with a belt before kickoff. This, in addition to racist chants, marred what should have been an evening where the breathtaking and phenomenal football match should have been the main story.
Roma, for their part, have said the right things, and have vowed to step up security for Liverpool fans ahead of the decisive second-leg show down in Rome. The club has promised an increased police presence, an alcohol ban around the stadium (an alcohol ban is already implemented inside stadiums for the Champions League), and a list of “places to avoid” for traveling Kopites.
Sadly, the racist and violent elements of “fandom” still remain in a great number of European teams and leagues. Until UEFA, clubs, and (as Roma put it) “the vast majority” of non-violent fans root out this behavior, we can only expect more of the same.
We can only hope it will be enough for the 5,000 or so Liverpool faithful. For those of you lucky enough to be planning a trip to the Stadio Olimpico, please do your best to remain safe.