Rotterdam braces for Feyenoord-Roma `vendetta`
Police in Rotterdam have stepped up security ahead of Thursday`s high-risk Feyenoord-Roma match after Dutch fans trashed parts of the Italian capital during the first leg.
Around 2,700 Roma fans are expected in the port city for the Europa League match a week after drunken Feyenoord fans rioted on Rome`s famous Piazza di Spagna, leaving it looking like a war zone and damaging a priceless 17th-century fountain.
A number of "hardcore" Roma fans are expected to travel to the Netherlands for what Dutch media are calling a vendetta match after Italian calls on social media for revenge.
"Police are counting on a sporting event, inside and outside the stadium, but they will react firmly if there are public disturbances or if crimes are committed," Rotterdam police said in a statement.
An unspecified number of Italian police will be deployed to advise their Dutch colleagues and help identify troublemakers.
"They`ll be there because they know the AS Roma fans well, they can for instance tell us who exactly we need to keep an eye on," Rotterdam police spokesman Gijs van Nimwegen told AFP.
"As with all high-risk matches, the riot police will be ready to intervene if needed," he said.
Many Rome fans will arrive by plane in Amsterdam from where a special train will be laid on going directly to Feyenoord`s De Kuip stadium.
Most others will arrive by train at Rotterdam`s brand-new central station, from where they will be directed to the city`s Old Port area, specially designated for Roma fans to gather ahead of the match.
The neighbourhood is home to Rotterdam`s iconic "cube houses" and a nightlife hub.
Special buses will take fans from the port area to De Kuip from 1700 GMT, with the match due to kick off at 2005 GMT.
A Feyenoord fan shop in the central station will be closed on Thursday afternoon, the club said.
The 40,000-capacity stadium will be opened earlier than usual ahead of the match, with larger buffer zones separating the two sides` fans. Extra stewards have been brought in to keep the two sides apart, the club said.
The first round of 32 first leg tie ended 1-1.