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Tottenham Fans Stabbed: Attempted Murder Charges Dropped, Magistrate Says 'No Racial Motive'

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An investigating magistrate hasordered that two Italians charged over an attack on English football supporters in Rome should remain in custody.

At least 11 Spurs fans were injured in the attack at 1am on Thursday as up to 50 hooligans stormed the Drunken Ship pub armed with knuckle dusters, baseball bats, knives and broken bottles.

stabbing

The scene of the stabbing in Rome

Two fans of Roma, the city's Serie A side, Francesco Ianari, 26, and Mauro Pinnelli, 25, were visited in prison on Sunday by an investigating magistrate, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

The judge ordered that they should remain in custody and ruled that there was no racist motive in the alleged attack, but that it was football related.

The pair exercised their right of silence and did not respond to the judge.

Essex builder Ashley Mills, 25, was most seriously injured, sustaining stab wounds to his leg and head.

He was taken to San Camillo Hospital and has been under observation after having surgery on Friday but is not in a life-threatening condition.

Mr Mills and his fellow fans were enjoying a drink ahead of the club's Europa League tie against Lazio when the Ultras - right-wing, hooligan fans - stormed the pub.

Fans scrambled to safety as the pub was smashed up.

Sky News quoted Lorenzo Contucci, a lawyer for one of the men, saying that charges of attempted murder had been dropped and the men instead face charges of aggravated wounding with a weapon.

Mr Mills has described the horrifying attack, telling the Evening Standard his attacker "came out of nowhere". He added: "I didn't see the guy who stabbed me. There were too many of them."

He said there was a good atmosphere in the bar, where everyone was having a few drinks before everything turned sour.

He added: "I was standing outside drinking and the next thing I knew there were loads of them.

"It happened very quickly, I don't remember much.

"I remember being pulled out, along the ground, after I had been stabbed."

On Friday night the president of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) sent a letter of apology to English FA chairman David Bernstein.

Giancarlo Abete said in a statement: "Once again, football has given a handful of delinquents the excuse to take out their racist and anti-Semite anger.

"There is evidence of this undoubted motive, which is detrimental to the image of Italian football and doesn't match with the traditional hospitality and welcome of the city of Rome.

"The city authorities and I publicly express our firm condemnation, with my personal indignation at these events.

"I beg you to send our apologies to all Tottenham's fans - and in particular to those families directly involved.

"I will personally follow the investigation's development and remain at your disposal should my assistance in any further matters be required."

Initial reports suggested Lazio fans were exclusively to blame for the assault which was apparently launched with shouts of anti-semitic abuse about the English team's historical Jewish roots.

Before the match, Lazio club president Claudio Lotito denied his fans were responsible.

But shortly afterwards as the game got under way, Lazio fans chanted "Juden Tottenham" - using the German word for Jew, and also unfurled a "Free Palestine" banner.

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