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Italian football federation chief apologises to FA following violence towards Tottenham fans

Giancarlo Abete offered support into any investigations via a letter, while also expressing disappointment that football gave "mindless thugs" a stage for their views

Italian football federation chief Giancarlo Abete has expressed his "outrage" at anti-semitic attacks on Tottenham supporters during their trip to Rome for the Europa League clash with Lazio.

Spurs drew 0-0 with the Serie A side, however it was off-the-field incidents that grabbed the headlines with reports that 50 masked hooligans launched an organised assault on a bar containing followers of the north London outfit in the early hours of Thursday.

Two Italians, believed to be fans of Lazio's rivals Roma, have since been charged with attempted murder after the attack left 11 people injured. Further reports from the match itself indicate home fans chanted "Juden Tottenham", which means "Tottenham Jews" in German, as an attack on Spurs' Jewish roots.

Abete has condemned the abuse and violence in a letter to Football Association chairman David Bernstein, as well as apologising and giving his support to the investigation.

He wrote: "I have already had the opportunity to publicly express my condemnation and outrage at what has happened.

"We would like to extend our apologies to all of the Tottenham fans and, in particular, to the families of the people involved.

"We are following the investigation closely and remain at the disposal of the authorities to help take this case forward."

The letter comes after the FA announced its intention to present Uefa a report from a crowd control advisor that witnessed the clash on Thursday evening, following the "alarming" reports of anti-Semitic chants.

Abete continued by indicating his belief that the attacks were indeed religion-motivated, and by highlighting his disappointment that football has given those guilty a stage for their extremist views.

"Once again, unfortunately, football has been used as a vehicle by mindless thugs to express their racist and anti-Semitic views," he added.

"This was unquestionably the motive behind this attack, which has damaged the image of our football and does not reflect the real tradition of warmth and hospitality in the city of Rome."
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