Atalanta are preparing to accommodate Everton fans this week, but there’s a twist, as the game won’t be played at their own stadium, but rather Sassuolo’s, two hours away.
The reason behind this appears to be that the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, the Serie A club’s home, is still lacking in certain areas to meet UEFA’s European competition standards, primarily due to the absence of ‘numbered seats’ in one of the stands.
In most instances of English football fans travelling around Europe, an air of apprehension is understandable, as a certain reputation precedes them.
However, in a report published by 7per24 in Italy, Reggio, where Sassuolo’s stadium is based, won’t be increasing the ‘threat level’, so to speak, as they appear to have enough faith in the travelling Everton fans.
That isn’t to say no warnings have been sent, as the British consulate in Milan is said to have advised Everton fans to behave well, stating “the Italian government has a zero tolerance policy regarding hooliganism both inside and outside the stadium”.
Despite having 4000 seats at their disposal, only 2000 Everton tickets had been sold a few days ago. That number should see an increase before Thursday, with 7per24 saying ‘the quota is expected to be exhausted’, so up to 4000 Everton fans could be at the game.
A crowd of around 15000 is expected for the game, meaning the Premier League side’s away fans could make up close to a third of the crowd.
As the travelling Toffees start pouring into Bologna airport or Orio al Serio before taking the train to Reggio, the idea of a ‘fan zone’, where they would be able to congregate outside of the historic city centre, is still being discussed.
There will most likely be more on this tomorrow.