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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ciro Esposito, the Napoli fan injured before last month's Italian Cup final, dies

Posted: 06/25/2014 5:51 AM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 06/25/2014 8:45 AM

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ROME - A Napoli fan died on Wednesday after being shot during the violence which marred the buildup to the Italian Cup final in May.

The Rome hospital where the 29-year-old Ciro Esposito was being treated, and his family both released statements confirming his death, 50 days after he was shot in the chest, allegedly by Roma fan Daniele De Santis.

Esposito was at the head of a group which ran to stop De Santis, after he was spotted apparently throwing paper bombs at a bus carrying Napoli fans.

"Our Ciro heard the scared cries of children who, with their families, wanted to see a football match," the statement from the family said. "Ciro died to save others.

"We ask the institutions to do their part. Daniele De Santis wasn't alone. We want his accomplices to be identified and sent to justice."

The family has asked for those who made mistakes in organizing public safety to be punished.

"First of all, the Rome prefect who didn't protect the safety of the Napoli fans," the statement added.

"We ask the prime minister to ascertain the politicians who could have a responsibility for what has happened. No one can give us back Ciro but we ask for justice in his name and not revenge."

De Santis, who fired four shots, was arrested for alleged attempted murder. That charge will become voluntary manslaughter.

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis and coach Rafa Benitez were among the first to offer their condolences to the family and express their grief and dismay that a trip to a football match ended in tragedy.

The Mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, also wrote on Twitter, "Ciro is dead and a city is mourning in Naples. For Ciro, for his family, for our people. To say no to the coupling of football and violence."

There will be a public viewing of Esposito's coffin, for people to pay their final respects. There is also a petition to give him a medal for civil bravery.

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