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Napoli face UEFA punishments for De Laurentiis rant, crowd misbehavior

Some poorly-behaving fans and the owner's post-match rant has Napoli facing fines from UEFA's disciplinary committee.

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The results from Thursday's disappointing draw against Dnipro in the Europa League are probably going to get a little bit worse, as the behavior of Napoli fans during the match and Napoli's owner after it have drawn the eye and ire of UEFA's disciplinary committee.

UEFA feels that Napoli exhibited poor crowd control, with parts of the crowd employing smoke bombs, blocking aisleways in the stands, and pointing lasers at Dnipro players. The former two issues are certainly a major point of concern, given the crowd safety implications they create -- either would make it significantly more difficult for people to get out of the stands should something bad happen and people need to get out in a hurry.

The latter is something that can have an impact on the pitch, as lasers shined in the face and eyes of a player can cause distractions and affect the outcome of a sequence of events on the pitch. Of course, Dnipro didn't exactly suffer from that, given that it was a referee who's poor vision directly impacted the result of the match.

Speaking of which, UEFA did not overlook the rant unleashed by Aurelio De Laurentiis, and he and the club will almost certainly face some form of sanction over it. That's hardly a surprise, given that UEFA do not look kindly on any kind of defamatory remarks. De Laurentiis didn't just cross the line with his "commentary," he gave it the middle finger as he roared past at supersonic speeds. Not that any Napoli fan minded, though, since he only said things that needed to be said.

Given Napoli's good disciplinary history with UEFA over the last few years, it would be shocking if Napoli were hit with anything more than a fine and a warning against future infractions over these issues. It will probably be a fairly large fine, but nothing the club can't afford. Still, getting on UEFA's naughty list is never a good thing, so hopefully they can avoid drawing their ire in the future and thus avoid things like stadium closures for European matches.