16 soccer yobs held

LONDON - Police charged 16 men yesterday after scuffles between English and Italian soccer fans outside Manchester United's stadium before their emphatic Champions League defeat of AS Roma.

Twelve English fans and four Italians were charged with a range of public order offences, including carrying knives, and were due to appear in court in Manchester.

Riot police were deployed when rival supporters hurled missiles at each other during skirmishes as they queued outside the Old Trafford stadium on Tuesday night.

Police on horseback kept fans apart, while dog units and officers equipped with batons arrested suspected troublemakers. Several supporters were led away with bleeding head wounds.

The trouble was quickly contained by police who had been prepared for trouble after disturbances at last week's first leg, when Italian police clashed with United fans inside Rome's Olympic Stadium.

The English side stunned AS Roma with a 7-1 victory that sent them into the semifinals of the Champions League, the most prestigious tournament for European clubs. - Reuters

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