Date: 3rd April 2007 at 7:33pm
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United warned their travelling fans not to use the metro and avoid certain areas in the Italian capital.

The warning deeply angered Italian officials who believe the Reds should not have painted a negative image of their city.

‘I’m appalled and also worried,” Rome prefect Achille Serra told the ANSA news agency. ‘There’s no doubt that there has always been difficulty maintaining public order and security between English and Italian teams, but it’s expected of all of us to calm the tensions.

‘A letter like that works to the contrary, excites tensions and risks provoking incidents.’

The metro should be avoided, according to United, as there is a danger of being attacked by Italian ultras. Of course, Mr. Serra does not agree.

‘Of course, every team has small segments of violent fans, but to generalize and make this city appear like it does in that letter is absolutely wrong and has nothing to do with reality,” Serra said. ‘The areas of highest risk, if there any, will be secured and I don’t see why anyone can’t take the metro.’

Fergie played down the incident, claiming the club do it before every European game and he does not see a problem with it.

Hopefully it will not cause serious diplomatic difficulties: the Mayor of Rome has already spoken to the British Ambassador. Oh my god.