Football

Napoli cup win overshadowed by shootings

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Former-Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez celebrated his first trophy as Napoli manager last night as his side eased past Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia final, however the game itself has been overshadowed by the events that took place beforehand.

Four people were shot in the build-up to the game, with one of them being in critical condition and another one being an Italian police-officer, who was on duty to patrol the fans before kick-off.

Italian football is known to have some incidents before, during and after matches, but early reports have indicated that the shootings were not football related and the people that fired the bullets were not there to watch the game, they were there to take advantage of a mass-crowd.

One man is currently in hospital after being shot in the chest, and is in need of emergency surgery, whilst the other three casualties are nursing bullet wounds to the hands and arms.

Due to the shooting outside, the final itself was delayed by 45-minutes and eventually got under way at 20:45pm, when it should have been started at 20:00.

Before the decision was made to kick off 45-minutes later, club officials, match referees and eve the police all discussed whether or not the game should go ahead, but after holding lengthy talks, they all decided that the game should go ahead once everything outside had settled down.

Pictures coming out of Italy show a lot of fans attacking each other and appearing to try and bring down the gunman, with one image showing a man on the ground after being shot in the chest region.

After the incident outside, Italian police were able to release a formal statement about the incident, and they confirmed that the shootings were not football related, and in fact they were fired from people taking advantage of the crowded area.

A statement said: 'A 30-year-old injured in the torso was taken to the Villa San Pietro hospital along with a 43-year-old man struck on the right hand.

'A third person, aged 32, was taken to the Santo Spirito hospital with gunshot wounds to an arm and a hand.

'The pistol presumably used in the shootings has been recovered. The investigators are listening to witness statements.

'At the moment the triple event does not seem to be linked to any trouble between fans, but was rather a coincidence.'

After all the controversy from outside had settled down, there were then numerous incidents taking place inside due to flares being thrown onto the pitch due to fans getting angry with the delay.

Luckily none of the flares caused any damage to anyone, but one member of staff had to be taken away in order to remove himself from any further injuries.

When the game finally got underway, it was Napoli that picked up the victory and the trophy, which was Benitez's first piece of silverware for the Italian side.

A brace from Lorenzo Insigne and an injury-time goal by Dries Mertens gave the Naples side a comfortable 3-1 victory, despite having a man sent off in the second half.

Fiorentina did get back into the game when Juan Vargas made it 2-1, and when Gokhan Inler was shown a second-yellow card, the advantage was in their favour, but despite the man advantage, they couldn't get back into the game and eventually conceded yet again.

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