FANS of Manchester United and Barcelona have been hit with a total alcohol ban in order to prevent crowd trouble ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League final in Rome.
Local authorities have enforced the ban from 11pm tonight to 6am on Thursday throughout the entire city.
Over 67,000 fans are expected in the Italian capital for the showpiece event, including 5,000 without tickets, prompting widespread concern over forgeries.
Rome prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro said: “There are no more tickets left to sell, hence, the tickets that are circulating are false.”
On the alcohol ban, he added: “It will not be a militarised city. All the necessary measures have been taken in order to give the best possible image of this city.”
City mayor Gianni Alemanno also warns that strict measures are in place to alleviate the threat of any violence.
He said: “I have asked interior minister Roberto Maroni to have maximum attention from the security officers to avoid any incidents. Only several hundred of those fans that do not have a ticket are hooligans.”
Meanwhile, both United and Barcelona are confident of shrugging off injury concerns for the showdown.
United defender Rio Ferdinand says the battle to recover from a calf injury will has sidelined him for three weeks as the “toughest of his career”, but boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists the England international is “okay”.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have been boosted by striker Thierry Henry and midfielder Andres Iniesta returning to training, and they too are confident of fielding their strongest possibly line-up.
Henry suffered a ligament problem in the 6-2 win over Real Madrid three weeks ago, while Iniesta has been struggling with a thigh injury.