Two Brighton fans stabbed in Rome ahead of Europa League last-16 match

Two Brighton fans were stabbed ahead of the match against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico (Getty Images)
Two Brighton fans were stabbed ahead of the match against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico (Getty Images)

Two Brighton fans are in hospital in Rome after being stabbed on the eve of their team’s Europa League match in the Italian capital.

A restaurant worker called police shortly after midnight on Wednesday saying two fans came in asking for help after being stabbed nearby.

One had three wounds to his left thigh, while the other was stabbed in the right thigh. They had also allegedly had a backpack stolen that contained a wallet and documents.

The fans, aged 28 and 29, were taken to separate hospitals in Rome and have since been discharged with minor wounds.

English police liaisons and the British Consulate have been in touch with those affected.

Roma hosts Brighton in the first leg of the Europea League round of 16 on Thursday, and fans were warned against street crime and pickpocketing and urged to be vigilant by the travelling club website in the days leading up to the fixture.

PC Darren Balkham, Sussex Police liaison officer for the club, wrote on X: “We are aware of the incident reported in Italian media last night. Have spoken to both Brighton fans who are ok.”

Fans have been arriving from the UK over the last few days, and more than 3,500 tickets for the match have been sold to Brighton supporters.

It is the club’s first ever knockout match in Europe.

There were warning signs over the atmosphere even before the south coast club departed when Roma coach Daniele De Rossi said the atmosphere may be more intense than Brighton fans would typically be accustomed to.

“I think that for any footballer it is very nice to play here in Stadio Olimpico,” he said ahead of tonight’s Europa League round of 16 first-leg tie.

“Brighton are also used to playing in full stadiums in the Premier League, but I think that here the heat will be a little higher than they are used to. It is up to us to make our fans happy.”

Roma have lost just one of their eight matches since De Rossi took the reigns on an interim basis after Jose Mourinho was sacked.

With reporting from AP