|Swindon footballers run gauntlet
of beer cans and stones in Italy
WINNING FINAL 3-0 WHEN
CROWD RIOT ENDS THE MATCH
A FANATICAL section of the 55,000 crowd incensed by
the inability of Napoli to match the craft and finishing of Swindon
Town, went berserk during the latter stage of the Anglo-Italian
tournament final in Naples last night.
They showered the pitch with beer bottles and stones
and Austrian referee Paul Schiller called the players off 11 minutes
Swindon, who held a decisive 3-0 lead when the game
was stopped, were awarded the trophy by Signor Orfeo Pianelli,
vice-president of the Italian Football Federation.
The British team did not seem disturbed by the incidents,
although they had to dodge flying stones and beer cans from disappointed
spectators to get to the dressing rooms.
Swindon manager Fred Ford said afterwards that the
incidents were "nothing to do with us. We didn't suffer any injury
and we're only amazed at what happened. Right now, we're happy about our
After the fighting, in which at least 40 police , including
several officers , and 60 demonstrators were injured, police guarded the
San Paolo Stadium.
Police said they had arrested 30 people and had 11 others
in custody for questioning.
According to first estimates, rampaging spectators caused
about £20,000 worth of damage to stadium equipment.
Napoli trainer, Giuseppe Chiapella said: "Some people
want to attribute them (the incidents) to the way Napoli played. But
probably, they were started by the usual protesters."
Apart from the small group involved in the incidents, the
rest of the 50,000 spectators enthusiastically applauded Swindon, who
played a fine, clean game.
Signor Corrado Ferlaino, president of the Napoli football
club, said after the match that Napoli would be lodging a complaint with
"It is clear to everyone that a group of disturbers
carried out actions which have nothing to do with sport, a pretext to
provoke disorder," Signor Ferlainio said.
TWO FOR NOBLE
Swindon, nearly always in control, took the lead in the
24th minute through Peter Noble.
The inside forward added the second goal soon after the
interval, and Arthur Horsfield got No. 3 in the 63rd minute.
Town played with great poise and assurance and were far and
away the better team in all departments.
When Swindon skipper Stan Harland led his side out to
collect the trophy from Signor Orfeo Pianelli, peace had almost been
There were still some demonstrators inside the ground but
there was also an enthusiastic reception for the West Country side.
The game itself had been incident free although Austrian
referee Paul Schiller described it as "very hard fought."
Two-goal hero Peter Noble rated Swindon's performance more
highly than their showing when they beat Napoli 1-0 in a preliminary
A delighted Noble commented: "We prepared seriously
because we meant to win. We are happy to return home with the
Swindon boss Fred Ford thought his team might have been a
little flattered by the margin of victory but was in no doubt who should
have won. "It was a well deserved victory," he said.
This was Swindon's second major triumph over Italian
opposition within a year.
Last September they beat Roma 5-2 on aggregate in a match
between the English and Italian Football League Cup winners. - Reuter.