Berlusconi to follow English example

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Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is to examine methods employed in England to combat hooliganism in the wake of the violence which marred the opening weekend in Serie A.

The main outbreak of trouble occurred in Naples with hundreds of supporters causing havoc at the city's station before they set off for Napoli's match against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

Berlusconi, who is also the owner of AC Milan, insisted the government would clamp down hard on those involved, claiming: "The state will return to being the state."

"With those who mistake support with vandalism, we will have no tolerance," he added.

"It's disappointing that for the actions of a minority the image of Napoli is tarnished.

"In the last couple of days, I have been looking into several measures taken by the English against this phenomenon."

Sanctions against Napoli have already started with their fans banned from away games for the season while the club have also been warned that a repeat could lead to home matches being played behind closed doors.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is adamant, however, that the authorities have been heavy-handed and that a supporter ban at home games would be unjust.

"Such punishment would be unfair for the club and for the honest supporters," he said.

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