Two men from Rome have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was left in a critical condition when he was attacked before Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final match against Roma.
Police and paramedics were called to the Albert pub shortly before the first leg match kicked off, where they found the victim, believed to be a 53-year-old man from Ireland, who had suffered a head injury.
Merseyside police said the men arrested were aged 25 and 26 and one of them was apprehended inside the ground. They were among nine men, aged between 20 and 43 years, arrested on suspicion of various offences, including affray, actual bodily harm and possession of offensive weapons, among others.
Officers appealed for witnesses of the incident in which the 53-year-old was injured to come forward. They said forensic examination had been carried out at the scene and CCTV footage from the area would be reviewed. Police believed that the victim was in Liverpool with his brother for the match.
“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. 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.”
Such video footage does appear to exist, with clips posted to Twitter showing clashes between supporters with ambulances in attendance, and suggestions that a group of Roma fans had used belts as weapons.