An estimated 10,000 people took to the streets of Rome to protest against football in front of the Stadio Olimpico, a stadium where the Serie A team is currently scheduled to play in the Copa del Rey on Sunday.
Around 20,000 more were expected to take to the city streets on Monday to protest at the stadium’s construction, as well as against the “fascism” of football fans.
“I want to express my outrage, because we are witnessing the most despicable crime of the year,” protester María Lina Castellano said.
“It’s a fascist crime, and it is not acceptable.
We are here for our beloved football club, and we want to stand against this fascist crime.”
The protests came after a fire broke out at the ground, with some of the players and supporters reportedly injured.
The incident occurred as part of a massive security operation for the Copas del Rey.
Police said the stadium, which is due to host the next leg of the Champions League final between Juventus and Manchester City, had already been “cleaned” of the “black smoke” of fireworks that have been set off at matches in the past.
The city has seen a spike in anti-government demonstrations in recent weeks, as supporters of the country’s president, Maurizio Quattrocchi, and of Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s center-left Democratic Party have repeatedly clashed with police.
Some 40,000 anti-mafia demonstrators took to Rome’s streets on Tuesday night to protest the violence.