Originally created 12/02/05

Tear gas delays Italian Cup game



FLORENCE, Italy - Tear gas engulfed the stadium at an Italian Cup game between Juventus and Fiorentina on Thursday, forcing a 20-minute delay in the 2-2 tie.

The gas apparently was used by police to prevent fighting among rival fans.

Medical teams treated fans, and RAI state TV reported that the tear gas caused some players to have stomach problems.

Referee Luca Palanca stopped play two minutes into the second half with Fiorentina leading 1-0. With players and fans covering their faces to breathe, Palanca ordered the teams to the locker rooms 10 minutes later. Once the air cleared, play resumed.

The game started five minutes late as part of an Italian Soccer Federation initiative in response to racist behavior by some fans at a game in Messina last Sunday.

The return leg of the fourth round is scheduled for January. First-place Juventus and third-place Fiorentina also play Sunday in a league game.