Serie A - All-Rome Coppa final moved to avoid violence

The Coppa Italia final between Roma and Lazio has been moved to an early evening kick-off to avoid late-night trouble between fans.

Reuters
Serie A - All-Rome Coppa final moved to avoid violence
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"The president of Serie A, responding to the request of the Rome head of police to move the Cup final kick-off forward for reasons of public order and safety... announces that the game between Roma and Lazio will take place on Sunday May 26 at 1800 (CET)," Serie A said in a statement on Friday.

The two sides will play at their shared Stadio Olimpico in the first ever Rome derby cup final and fears about the violence that often surrounds the fixture sparked calls for the match to be moved from the evening to the afternoon or another day.

Roma and Lazio drew 1-1 in Serie A on the evening of April 8 and there were violent scenes before and after the match with several people stabbed as hardcore 'ultra' supporters from both sides clashed among themselves and with police.

About 200 Lazio fans threw bottles and other objects at officers, who responded by firing tear gas and baton-charging supporters.

There have been calls for Rome derbies never to be played in the evening again after local residents complained they were terrorised by "civil war".

The Cup final controversy is further complicated by the Rome mayoral elections that will take place on May 26, meaning that the early evening kick-off might affect voting.

However, moving the game to the day before would have meant it could have clashed with the buildup to the Champions League final in London.

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