The Naples media have talked up potential problems between Liverpool and Napoli fans so much that the local Italian authorities are now telling everyone to calm down.
On Monday, Naples newspaper Il Mattino said the match was one of ‘high tension’ because of previous incidents and that it’s of ‘great concern’ for Italy’s Home Office.
Il Mattino also stated that when English fans are abroad, they tend to ‘lose their heads’ a little.
Dr. Nunzia di Cristo, consular correspondent in Liverpool at the Honorary Italian Consulate, was then contacted by Napoli’s closest radio station, and he said:
“There were problems during the last games. The English fanbase is worried about what will happen. From what I know, there will only be one organised flight. The others will arrive in Naples via personal trips.
“Some will visit Sorrento and other areas around Naples. I don’t think we’re talking huge numbers of fans. There will probably be far fewer than the expected 2800. The fear of going to Naples and suffering what happened last time is there.”
Senior local police official Luigi Bonagura has now urged everyone to stop talking up issues, quoted by CalcioNapoli24 as saying: “Hooligans in Naples? There is no concern about the arrival of Liverpool fans, our English colleagues have signalled the presence of the 40 most exuberant fans, but it is a small number and easily controllable. I would be cautious about these alarms, it is a non-alarm for us.”
Napoli’s local media is still full of articles about potential worries, both from the perspective of English and Italian fans, and they’ve talked themselves into a panic that the police clearly believe has little basis.