ENGLAND fans have been warned not to wear a common clothing item amid fears of violent clashes with Italian ultras.
Fears of violence in Naples have been sparked after an “online threat” to English supporters was made by an ultra group ahead of the European Championship qualifier between England and Italy.
More than 3,000 Three Lions fans are expected to travel to Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for the match – and their welfare is now the chief concern of football officials.
The FA told England fans travelling to the match not to wear belts as a precaution as they could be confiscated by officials over fears they could be used as weapons.
An email by the FA read: “Some supporters who have attended a fixture here as an away supporter have had their belts removed and not returned upon entry into the stadium.”
“We would advise that you do not wear a belt where possible.”
Fans have been warned not to carry power banks and phone charges as they are also banned and could be confiscated.
Officials from the England Supporters Travel Club will have portable chargers at the stadium gates, report the Times.
Concerns about the fans’ safety were raised after a friendly match between fans was cancelled following threats reportedly made by the Napoli ultras.
Chief superintendent Colette Rose, who will lead a team of UKFPU officers in Naples, said: “Their view is that there is no risk to our fans but we are still seeking clarity around transport arrangements and other issues.
“We will keep talking and do our best to keep supporters updated.”
Despite Italian authorities reassuring touring Brits that it would be safe to attend the match, they have now asked English authorities to inform the fans they need to assemble at the city’s port area from 4pm on Thursday to be taken by bus to the stadium.
Earlier this week Garford Beck, organiser and lifelong England fan, received a threatening email purporting to be from a Naples Ultra group sent to a member of the “EnglandfansFC”.
The 60-year-old told the Times he feared for his team’s safety.
He said: “I received a very sinister and threatening email purporting to be from the Napoli Ultras this morning.
“It read, ‘You advertise this game for us to see where you’ll be. We will be there. 60 ultra to get you. Be warned.’
“I’ve been in contact with my oppo at the FIGC [Italian FA].
“I showed it to him and said ‘can you show it to the local authorities and police and see if they think it is a viable threat.’
“Our contact at the FIGC spoke with their security officer.
“They came back and said, ‘We are very concerned.’
“They are treating it very seriously and have judged it to be a viable threat.”
Despite the Italian FA efforts to monitor the situation, the friendly match was later called off this afternoon due to possible threats to the welfare
It comes as violence erupted in the streets of Naples last week before Napoli’s Champions League match with Eintracht Frankfurt.
The German supporters defied a police ban and clashed with Napoli ultras, which left more than eight hooligans arrested.