Roma v Liverpool: Police 'can guarantee fans' safety' if they stay within rules

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Police advice for Liverpool fans in Rome

Police say they can "guarantee the safety of Liverpool fans" in Rome as long as they stay within Italian rules.

Liverpool have sold their 5,000 tickets for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Roma.

The Reds' 5-2 win in Tuesday's first leg at Anfield was marred by an attack on home supporter Sean Cox.

Public order commissioner, Giorgio Luciani, told BBC Sport that the police operation in Rome is a "tough challenge" involving 1,200 officers.

But he added: "We are used to managing these events. For the Rome Marathon we organised a police service of more than 1,000 people. For the derby between Roma and Lazio it was the same.

"We can guarantee the safety of Liverpool supporters if they respect the rules and make the day as normal as they can.

"We don't ask for anything special, just that they respect the rules."

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Klopp 'loves the gesture' as Roma wear shirts for Liverpool fan

Two Italian men have been charged over the attack on 53-year-old Irishman Cox, who suffered head injuries and is in a critical condition. On Monday, doctors were hoping to bring him out of an induced coma.

The incident has been condemned by the two clubs and the authorities, and Luciani said: "It's a terrible episode.

"We are working in synergy with the English police to solve this problem and help them, and vice versa for this match."

Stating that Cox and his family should "should feel and hear our support," the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp welcomed a gesture made by the Roma players who wore 'Forza Sean' shirts at training in support of Cox.

Before last week's first leg, staff and players of the Italian club had laid a wreath at Anfield to commemorate the 96 people who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

"It's a really nice thing and at least in these moments all football fans should stay together and show this kind of respect, so I love the gesture," Klopp said.

Liverpool asked for an "extraordinary meeting" with Uefa, Roma and Italian police after the first leg and issued safety advice to fans travelling to Rome.

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Violence before Roma game showed football's 'ugly face' - Klopp

Supporters have been asked not to hang banners or scarves on monuments and fountains, avoid certain parts of the city and arrive at the Stadio Olimpico by 17:00 BST. The match starts at 19:45.

Roma manager Eusebio di Francesco said on Tuesday the perpetrators of the attack "do not belong to Roma's true fans" but hooligans were a "massive issue" in football.

"I'm afraid rotten apples are everywhere," he said. "My appeal to fans is to come to the stadium and enjoy a sporting festival."

Luciani also confirmed that non-ticket-holders would have "no chance" of getting inside the stadium.

"They need a ticket and passport or ID card," he said. "This is the only way to gain entrance for the match. Without a ticket, it is not forbidden to watch the match inside a pub, bar or restaurant, but not inside the stadium."

Liverpool fans
Liverpool fans have been praised for the "warm welcome" they offered Roma fans at Anfield

Luciani also said no alcohol can be consumed in the street and Rome police will have "a special team dedicated to controlling these rules".

He added: "It's a tough challenge but what is important is for us to enjoy and lead the city for the citizens, supporters, for everyone. We want it to be an important sporting day - nothing else."

Liverpool fans have been told to meet at Piazza delle Canestre and urged to travel to and from the stadium on specially-dedicated buses, rather than walk.

English fans have been targeted by Roma ultras in the Italian capital before, with supporters of Liverpool stabbed in 2001, Middlesbrough in 2006, Manchester United in 2007, Arsenal in 2009, and Spurs in 2013. Chelsea fans were also attacked last year.

When asked whether Roma fans were a particular problem, Luciani said: "No more than any other club in Italy."

Meanwhile, the mayors of Liverpool and Rome have issued a joint message, calling for a "violence-free evening" on Wednesday.

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