Man shot dead and several hurt during Napoli Serie A title celebrations

World

A man has been shot dead and several people left injured during celebrations for Napoli’s first league title win in 33 years.

The 26-year-old man was taken to hospital in Naples in a serious condition where he later died, Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica reported.

Friends and relatives of the victim allegedly vandalised the emergency room where he had been rushed to, ANSA and other Italian news agencies reported.

A 26-year-old woman and two men, aged 20 and 24, also suffered gunshot wounds but their conditions are not thought to be life-threatening.

Police are investigating the shooting which took place in the Piazza Volturno area of the city, with Naples Prefect Claudio Palomba telling RAI radio it had “nothing to do with the celebrations”.

La Stampa newspaper reported that more than 200 people ended up in hospital overnight for injuries sustained during the celebrations, from knife wounds to burns from firecrackers, and asthma attacks caused by inhaling smoke from flares.

However Mr Palomba said only seven people were hurt during the night, with some suffering fireworks injuries.

Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples
Image:
Napoli fans partied through the night across the city of Naples
Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples
Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples

Napoli’s 1-1 draw in their away match against Udinese secured the southern Italian side’s first league title since 1990, when Argentina great Diego Maradona led them to two championships in 1986-87 and 1989-90.

Visiting Napoli fans held aloft banners adorned with the image of the late Maradona, eagerly anticipating the long-coveted Scudetto.

They rushed onto the pitch after the final whistle. Luciano Spalletti’s side needed only a point to clinch the league crown.

Napoli fans celebrate winning Serie A on the pitch after the match
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Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A on the pitch after the match
Napoli fans with a Diego Maradona flag
Napoli's Kim Min-jae celebrates with fans on the pitch
Image:
Napoli’s Kim Min-jae celebrates with fans on the pitch
Police on the pitch after the match as Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A

As the away end at the Stadio Friuli and players rejoiced in Udine, a long night of celebrations also erupted across the city of Naples.

Fans flooded the streets waving flags and lighting flares and firecrackers to mark the momentous occasion.

“It will be chaos, mayhem. We won’t sleep, we won’t work,” joked one fan.

Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples
Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples
Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples

The US consulate issued a security alert last week, saying “spontaneous celebrations could last multiple days” and warned of “heavy traffic or road closures, significant use of fireworks, and alcohol consumption throughout the city”.

“I’ve been waiting for the Napoli Scudetto since I was small,” said a teenage girl out with friends.

“It’s a victory for the entire city, it’s wonderful,” she added.

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Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples
Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples
Napoli fans celebrate winning the Serie A in Naples

Streamers, banners, flags, scarves and life-sized cardboard replicas of Napoli’s present-day footballers, including Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen and Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, festooned the city centre.

Many Napoli fans stayed in Naples and watched the game at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, which was specially equipped with eight giant screens.

A capacity crowd of more than 50,000 showed up, setting off fireworks at the final whistle.

Crowds also gathered at a Maradona mural in the Quartieri Spagnoli area of the city.

The draw against mid-table Udinese gave Napoli an unassailable 16-point lead over second-placed Lazio with only five matches left in the season.