Last night, an Irishman named locally as Sean Cox, 53, was left in a critical condition following an assault by Roma supporters outside of the Albert Pub beside Anfield. Merseyside Police confirmed that Mr. Cox suffered a head injury when he was struck by a belt.
Tonight the panel on RTE Sport discussed the incident. Eamon Dunphy suggested the attack may be related to the scenes before the Manchester City versus Liverpool Champions League game, when a section of Liverpool fans fired cans and bottles at the Manchester City team bus.
It's really, I think, a consequence of the attack on the Manchester City bus when they played at Anfield a few weeks ago. It was shocking scenes that were televised and went viral of Liverpool fans attacking the City bus and I think that may have planted the seed in the Roma fans, because it is Roma fans who are responsible for this. They are a bad lot and have a bad minority that follow them, and Lazio the other team in Rome.
Dunphy went on to declare it troubling that this kind of thing has attached itself to the club.
It may have planted a seed in their mind, that there would be a threat there. It attracts them, the idea of violence. Nine have been arrested. Two have been charged, as I understand it, with attempted murder. We thought soccer had got rid this and this instant last night reminded us of how tenuous that is. Ultimately, it is not Liverpool Football Club's responsibility. It is a policing matter. But it's very troubling indeed that it has attached itself to Liverpool Football Club.
Subsequent to his comments, Darragh Maloney did point out that there have been numerous incidents between Roma fans and English clubs, including in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2017.
The panel went on to wish Mr. Cox a full recovery.
Didi Hamann believes pre-match segregation and screening of supporters might be necessary following the attack on Irish Liverpool fan Sean Cox pic.twitter.com/jSi6VNEGZ4
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) April 25, 2018
In the aftermath of the discussion, Liverpool fans were furious with Dunphy's comments. A significant amount of responses are not suitable for re-publication.
Take Dunphy off air until he apologises for him implying the unprovoked attack last night is the fault of Liverpool fans. Seriously uninformed dangerous opinion. I await your response.
— Eoghan O'Sullivan (@eoghanos9) April 25, 2018
Did Dunphy just blame the attack in Liverpool last night on Sean Cox on the attack on the Man City team bus?
— Donnchadh Boyle (@depboyle) April 25, 2018
@RTEsoccer why dont you show the absolute nonsense that came out of Dunphy mouth about the attack on the Liverpool fan and his belief to why it happened.?
— BREN⚽️ (@BRENDANROONEY2) April 25, 2018
Dunphy’s nonsense is usually pretty objectionable, but equating a few coke cans getting thrown at a bus with a stabbing in a man’s head is particularly odious.
— JohnGunning (@jgunned) April 25, 2018
Did Dunphy seriously say the few dickheads throwing bottles at the city bus caused the bother from the Roma fans last night ??
— Phe (@Pheo7) April 25, 2018
@RTEsport Dunphy saying the Man City bus incident the reason behind the stabbing of an Irish Liverpool supporter.
Time to sort this idiot out RTE, that's simply disgraceful
— Declan Moran (@dDec77) April 25, 2018
Mr. Cox is currently in a critical condition at Walton Neurological Centre. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson posted his best wishes to Mr. Cox on Instagram.
The thoughts and prayers of all the players are with the Liverpool fan who is currently very poorly in hospital, after being badly hurt ahead of our game last night.
He came to watch a football match and support our team - the only result that matters to us now is that he recovers and can return home to be with his family and loved ones.
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