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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
In among the Ultras
First-hand account of violence among hardcore Juventus fans during Wednesday's European clash with Liverpool.

By Matt Williams
BBC Five Live reporter in Turin

I was sitting in the Curva Sud, which is where all the Juventus ultras sit.

Quite frankly it was all you would expect.

It was very intimidating, very exhiliarating and very, very loud.

There were a number of banners around, ones in English which said "It's easy to speak, it's hard to forgive".

Another banner carried the message "UK equals United Killers".

I saw plastic bottles being thrown at Liverpool supporters as well as coins and oranges.

The odd seat was ripped up and fans charged the plastic fences.

The irony was that the public address system announced that if fans were caught throwing anything or were guilty of shouting or any violent conduct, they would get thrown out of the stadium.

Yet time and again I saw people throwing bottles and throwing seats.

But the stewards would just get hold of the fans and put them where they were before.

This happened before the game, at half-time and at the end of the match.

It was a little bit far for me to see if the fans were covering their faces so as not to be seen.

But the chances of those supporters being identified afterwards and being charged are pretty low.

There were problems outside the ground before the game kicked off but I have to say that that did not involve Liverpool fans at all.

Liverpool fans were taken in coaches with police escorts from the city centre a good three hours before kick-off.

Juventus fans clash with police
Juventus fans clash with police

And the ones that arrived the day of the game at the airport were also given a police escort directly into the ground.

There were clashes between Juventus fans and police outside the stadium, with two cars, including one police car, set on fire.

When I asked a policeman about this he said it was normal and that this is what happens at every high-profile game that Juventus play at Stadio Delle Alpi.

Liverpool fans did throw missiles back and I saw them charging the fences separating them from the other Juventus fans.

Liverpool always take their own club stewards with them and they were trying to calm their fans down and take them back to their seats.

There was a lot of anger at the end of the match.

Some of the Juventus fans I spoke to asked why Liverpool were only apologising now, why it had taken 20 years for the club to apologise for what happened at Heysel, where 39 people died?

They insisted that the only reason that everybody was talking about it now was because the two teams were drawn together in the Champions League.

There is still a lot of anger in Turin towards the Liverpool fans.

Liverpool would like to think that they went a long way to gaining the respect of Juventus after what they did at Anfield during the first leg.

But there are still lots of people in the city that just won't let it lie.




WATCH AND LISTEN
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SEE ALSO
Heysel and the tragic aftermath
04 Apr 05 |  Europe


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