Teenager detained for police death in Italian soccer riot

Updated: 2007-02-09 08:34

A 17-year-old youth has been detained in connection with the death of a police officer during a soccer riot in Catania last Friday, local media reported Thursday.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is under investigation for the murder of police inspector Filippo Raciti, 38, the first policeman to die in decades of Italian soccer violence.

The reports said that police claim to have a wiretap in which the youth admits to a friend, "Yes, it was me".

In video footage of the riot, the youth is also allegedly seen swapping jackets to elude identification.

Raciti received fatal internal injuries as fans fought police with metal bars and powerful firecrackers during the Serie A "derby " between Catania and Palermo.

On Wednesday, police said they had video footage which apparently showed a young fan hitting Raciti with a wash basin ripped out of the lavatories in the north end of the Catania soccer stadium.

Police are holding 41 fans in the investigation, including sixteen minors.

The policeman's death led to the suspension of last weekend's soccer matches.

They are due to resume this weekend, some behind close doors because many stadiums do not comply with security regulations.

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