Bologna fan standoff ends in tears and hugs

Bologna fans celebrating

Bologna were relegated to Serie B after losing to Catania at the weekend but a tense stand-off between fans and players ended peacefully.

It was a disastrous weekend for Bologna who saw every result go against them but a confrontation between fans and players ended with a touching moment.

Bologna were beaten 2-1 at home by Catania, who are also relegated, while Chievo and Sassuolo both managed to win.

It was a devastating blow for Bologna's fans who would have believed their team had a good chance of beating the drop at the start of the weekend.

Bologna were a founding member of Serie A in 1929 and have won seven Italian titles, although the last was in 1964.

Of late, the Emilia-Romagna outfit have been content just to hold a place amongst the elite and losing that position hit the fans hard.

After the final whistle at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, a large number of Bologna fans waited outside the ground for the players to emerge.

The players eventually did come out with coach Davide Ballardini and walked in silence protected by a police cordon.

For five minutes the fans followed the players chanting and yelling insults which brought captain Panagiotis Kone, who was leading the group, to tears.

Then the leader of the supporters broke through the cordon and headed towards Kone, but as police feared the worst he gave the despondent midfielder a hug.

Greek international Kone has been one of Bologna's outstanding players this season and a favourite of the fans while coach Ballardini may not have received such kind treatment.

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