Celtic supporters experienced a distressing night in Rome during their recent Champions League match against Lazio, both inside and outside the Stadio Olimpico.
Before the game, hundreds of fans faced severe inconveniences, as they were locked out of the stadium well into the first half. Despite being bussed to the Stadio Olimpico from early in the afternoon, many were unable to gain timely access to the venue.
The situation within the stadium was equally troubling. Lax security measures were apparent, as flares and other projectiles were directed at the Celtic fan section. The 3,600 Celtic supporters in attendance seemed to receive little protection from stadium security, who made minimal efforts to restrict these attacks, leaving fans vulnerable and exposed.
On the field, Celtic’s performance was initially competitive, but their efforts were ultimately undone by two goals from Lazio in the last 10 minutes. The introduction of striker Ciro Immobile proved pivotal for Lazio, with the 33-year-old scoring both goals that sealed Celtic’s defeat. The Hoops are now set to complete their Champions League campaign at home against Feyenoord in two weeks.
This distressing experience for the Celtic fans in Rome raises serious concerns about fan safety and the adequate provision of security measures at international football matches. The incidents of the evening highlight the need for greater vigilance and protective measures to ensure that supporters can enjoy the game without fear of harm or mistreatment. The security outside the stadium was huge, inside, not so much.