Threats force Italy vs England fan friendly off in Naples

March 21 – A friendly match between England and Italy supporters in Naples has been cancelled following a “sinister” message allegedly sent by local fanatics.

England men’s supporters’ team boss Garford Beck said he received a “very sinister and threatening” email purporting to be from ‘Napoli ultras’.

It claimed “we will be there, 60 ultra to get you” if they went ahead with the game on Thursday afternoon.

The Italian FA has now informed Beck the game has been cancelled after representations were made by the English FA. The match was supposed to have taken place a few hours before the Italy-England Euro 2024 qualifier the same day.

“I think the Italian FA were left with little choice,” said Beck. “Safety has to be our priority and we would have been an easy target for these people.”

Around 2,500 England fans are expected in Naples for Euro 2024 fixture.

Beck said the England fans played their Italian counterparts in Milan last year and they hoped this week’s meeting would be a chance to catch up.

“There’s been no hint of anything until I opened that email. We’re the one group of England fans that requires zero policing or stewarding.

“We’re just out there to get together with whoever it is we’re playing, have a game of football, have a few beers and go off to the match, it’s nothing more than that really.”

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