Fan ban possible for Napoli-Arsenal

Napoli's potentially decisive final Champions League Group F clash against Arsenal may have to be played behind closed doors.

The December 11th Champions League match between Napoli and Arsenal at the Stadio San Paolo may be played without supporters as UEFA investigates events on the evening of Napoli's game against Marseille.

Napoli's gutsy 3-2 win over Marseille was marred by fights between fans outside the San Paolo in which 10 were injured and riot police had to be sent in to break things up.

But according to Italian newspaper Il Mattino, it is not the violence outside the ground but the delay to kick-off as a result of fireworks and the poor organisation of the game on the part of Napoli officials that are being looked into.

The Partenopei may now be forced to play their remaining home Champions League encounter against Arsenal behind closed doors.

The match is likely to be decisive as Group F is finely poised with Arsenal and Napoli on nine points followed by Borussia Dortmund on six.

While it will be a blow to many Arsenal fans who would have been keen to travel to the match, it may have a great effect on Napoli, for whom their passionate support often plays a pivotal role.

Napoli must first negotiate the significant hurdle of a trip to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday 26 November while Arsenal host Marseille. 

Defeat in Germany would leave Napoli needing to record a win over Arsenal to ensure they have have a place in the knock-out stages.

image: © luigig

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