A Newcastle fan were reportedly attacked in Milan on Monday night just hours before their Champions League tie against AC Milan at the San Siro, with one fan in hospital after being stabbed. Fans were ambushed by thugs in a vicious attack in the popular area of Navigli, with one supporter requiring medical treatment in a local hospital.
In ugly scenes that took place just hours before their first Champions League clash in 20 years, Magpies fans were set upon in what has been described as an ambush.
It is claimed a group of English supporters were heading back to their hotel when they were jumped from behind and attacked with knives. Reports in Italy said a 58-year-old man was surrounded by ‘seven or eight’ people in one attack as he was stabbed in the back with a weapon.
According to local outlet Milan Today, the unnamed Newcastle supporter was taken to hospital after emergency services were called and he was treated for their injuries. The report adds that no belongings were stolen during the attack, which would suggest it was not related to a robbery.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the man’s daughter said: “My dad is stable but in shock. He is gutted he’s missing the match but just wants every other Newcastle fan out there to be aware of this and be safe. He just had two knee replacements so he fell when he was being chased and that is when he was attacked. I’m flying out there.”
Italy’s law enforcement agency, Digos, have opened an investigation into the attack. Newcastle are aware of the incident and confirmed they are in discussions with the local authorities to ascertain exactly what happened.
A club spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned by reports that a supporter was seriously assaulted in Milan on Monday evening and we are liaising with local authorities to understand the circumstances. Our thoughts are with the supporter and their family and we hope for a full and speedy recovery.”
Ahead of their first Champions League game since 2003, Newcastle’s preparations have been hampered after a late arrival into the Italian city.
Hundreds of fans were pictured in good spirits in the main tourist spots around the city, but the attack seems to have marred the special occasion for Toon fans, with 5,000 expected to be in attendance for their Group F opener.
Only on Monday, head coach Eddie Howe said he was looking forward to the trip to the San Siro in what would be the first Champions League tie he had attended as a fan or manager.
“It is a game of football and I think that’s just how we have to approach it,” said Howe. “Yes, it’s a special game and we have to be at our best.”
“I’ve never attended a Champions League game – I’ve also been too busy working. It will be a proud moment for everyone after so long away. We have to be at our best.”
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