Italian police tell Liverpool fans: You'll be safe - as long as you show respect

Liverpool fans travelling to Rome for the Champions League semi-final will be safe if they "respect the rules", an Italian police chief has said.

The football club's first leg 5-2 win over AS Roma was marred by an attack before the game which left supporter Sean Cox in a coma.

The Foreign Office has issued advice to fans, suggesting it is "strongly recommended" they take the free shuttle buses to the game rather than walk to the Stadio Olimpico, while a ban on drinking alcohol in the street is also in force in the city centre and around the stadium.

Officers from Merseyside Police have travelled to Rome to assist with the operation.

Rome police public order commissioner Giorgio Luciani told BBC Sport policing the game would be a "tough challenge", with 1,200 officers on duty.

He said: "We are used to managing these events: for the Rome Marathon we organised a police service of more than 1,000 people, for the derby between Roma and Lazio it was the same.

"We can guarantee the safety of Liverpool supporters if they respect the rules and make the day as normal as they can.

Liverpool v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - First Leg - Anfield
Fans on top of a police van and flares being let off before the Uefa Champions League semi-final first Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

"We don't ask for anything special, just that they respect the rules."

Mr Luciani added that the attack on Mr Cox was a "terrible episode".

Mr Cox, a 53-year-old father of three, suffered serious head injuries after being assaulted outside Anfield stadium last week.

Two men in their 20s from Rome have been charged with violent disorder over the incident.

Important information for supporters heading to Rome. Please read the travel advice carefully and fill out our online form at https://t.co/wLu9e2BiIypic.twitter.com/KibgnIT1DC

-- Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 30, 2018

Liverpool have also asked fans not to hang flags, banners or scarves on monuments and said they should expect to be held back in the stadium after the match for longer than usual.

Those without a valid match ticket should not travel, the club said.

The Foreign Office urged supporters to avoid the Ponte Duca D'Aosta area to the south of the stadium, where Roma fans are said to gather.

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