Two Roma Fans Arrested After Liverpool Fan Left In 'Critical' Condition
A Liverpool fan has been left fighting for his life after being attacked outside Anfield stadium last night ahead of the football Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and AS Roma.
Two Roma fans aged 25 and 26 have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in relation to the attack that has left the 53-year-old man in a critical condition.
The Italian club could also face action from European football's governing body UEFA which said that it is "shocked by the incident".
The victim is believed to be from Ireland and the attack is thought to have taken place in or near to The Albert pub near the stadium. Police were called to The Albert at about 7:35pm on Tuesday following reports that a man had been seriously assaulted.
The victim was treated at the scene by paramedics before being transferred to Walton Neurological Centre because of his head injuries. His condition is described as 'critical'. His next of kin have been informed.
Video footage has since emerged that shows a Liverpool fan lying prostrate in the road outside the stadium.
The terrifying footage, shared by BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan, appeared to show a man laid out on his back behind the famous Kop end of Anfield. Reports have suggested that some Roma fans were using belts to attack people.
Another photo posted by BBC journalist David Ornstein showed a fan carrying a hammer outside the ground.
Pre-match trouble outside Anfield started when group of Roma fans arrived via Venmore St, burst on to Walton Breck Rd & attacked, many using belts. #LFC fan knocked to floor & received lengthy medical treatment. Skirmishes, projectiles, at least 1 hammer in hand, police arrived pic.twitter.com/Yaby4q5f0Y- David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) April 24, 2018
There had been reports that a man had also been stabbed in clashes between rival fans but Merseyside Police were unable to confirm the reports.
Speaking on behalf of Merseyside Police, Detective Inspector Paul Speight said: "We believe the victim was in Liverpool, with his brother, for the Liverpool versus Roma semi-final and was assaulted during an altercation between Roma and Liverpool fans near to the Albert pub at about 7.35pm.
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"Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground.
"Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Walton Neurological Centre, where he is being treated for a head injury.
He continued: "His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed.
"The place where this incident occurred is right by the ground and was heaving with fans making their way to the game.
"I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage of the incident to contact us urgently, as information they have could be vital to our investigation."
AS Roma could face action from UEFA after the governing body released a statement condemning the violence.
UEFA said: "We are deeply shocked by the vile attack that occurred ahead of the match. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.
"The perpetrators of this ignominious attack have no place in and around football and we trust they will be dealt with utmost severity by the authorities.
"UEFA is waiting to receive full reports before deciding on potential disciplinary charges."
AS Roma have released a statement today that reads: "AS Roma condemns in the strongest possible terms the abhorrent behavior of a small minority of traveling fans who brought shame on the club and the vast majority of Roma's well-behaved supporters at Anfield after getting involved in clashes with Liverpool supporters before last night's fixture.
"There is no place for this type of vile behavior in football and the club is now cooperating with Liverpool Football Club, UEFA and the authorities.
"The club's thoughts and prayers are with the 53-year-old Liverpool fan in hospital and his family at this time."
Featured Image Credit: PA