Early Doors

Sampdoria fans offered absurd level of security protection

The problem of football hooliganism pervades the sport, and paranoia about the possibility of it all 'kicking off' at an Italian cup match produced the above astonishing photo.

The incredible image was taken at the Coppa Italia tie between Roma and Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday.

New signing Radja Nainggolan made his debut in the 1-0 win but the game will be remembered for the over-zealous nature of protection afforded to the travelling Sampdoria fans.

While Italian football has had problems in recent years with hooliganism, it remains to be seen what exactly the security personnel were protecting the (very) few fans who had made the 1,000 km round-trip from Genoa.

Maybe the aggressive looking seats?

In fairness, the home faithful have a reputation for being a boisterous lot as the below photo shows, but the security presence on show was, to say the least, heavy-handed.

Roma fans at the Stadio Olimpico