23/03/2013 05:33 GMT

England Fan Held In San Marino After Fight Leaves Man In Coma

An England football fan is being questioned by police in connection with a fight that reportedly left a man in a coma, the Foreign Office said.

The incident happened in Italy before Friday's match against San Marino.

Reports in Italy say that the 21-year-old man was arrested after the dispute broke out outside the Bounty pub in Bologna, 75 miles from the enclave republic of San Marino, where England won their Group H World Cup qualifier.

Local newspaper La Repubblica reported that a 65-year-old England fan was in a coma in hospital after undergoing major surgery for a head injury.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm the arrest of a British national in Italy on 21 March. We are providing consular assistance."

La Repubblica reported that a group of at least seven football fans, who had been drinking, started fighting outside the pub in the Via delle Moline.

They described the 65-year-old defending himself with a bar stool before being punched and then hitting his head on the ground as he fell.

England won the game 8-0 against the relative minnows of San Marino at the Stadio di Serravalle, before Tuesday's crucial trip to Montenegro.