Napoli have banned belts from their stadium for their Champions League clash with Manchester City on Wednesday night.
Travelling City supporters heading out to the Group F fixture will not be allowed to take the clothing item into the Stadio San Paolo, although the ban does not extend to fashion-conscious coach Pep Guardiola and his players.
The unusual move comes after belt-waving Napoli hooligans wreaked havoc at a City pub before the first match between the two sides on October 17, which the home side won 2-1.
One supporter of the Italian side was sent to prison for five months after a ‘cowardly attack’ on City supporters, who were drinking at the Mary D’s pub close to the stadium.
He was part of a group of eight who went on the rampage.
Some swung belts above their heads, while one was seen with a rope with a weight attached and another brandished a cosh.
One City fan, a 17-year-old boy attending the game with his dad, was struck by the cosh and suffered a serious head injury.
Kevin Parker, general secretary of the Manchester City Supporters Club, branded the decision ‘ridiculous’.
‘It’s absolutely crazy,’ he said. ‘I know they have had issues with Napoli fans using belts as weapons but since when has that been a thing in England? Why, all of a sudden, should City fans be banned?’
Parker added: ‘It seems like something always happens with City in this competition.
First we’re banned from booing, then we were banned from a stadium and now we have been banned from wearing belts.’
He did, however, see the humorous side. ‘You would imagine, if anything, it will encourage City fans to drink more and eat more – and there will probably be a lot less standing than normal for fear of pairs of pants falling down. And at least they should get through security at Manchester Airport quickly.’
City declined to comment, while Napoli could not be reached for comment