A Nigerian asylum seeker was feared dead on Wednesday after he was left in an irreversible coma from an attack with a ripped-out road-sign pole by a football fan after defending his partner in the Marche coastal town of Fermo.
According to Agi news agency, the deceased, Emmanuel Chidi Namdi, was walking with his girlfriend in the heart of the small town of Paolo Calcinora on Tuesday, when they had racial abuse heaped on them by a supporter of one local football club.
A local soccer extremist of Fermana had first insulted Namdi’s wife Chinyery, 24, calling her an “African monkey”, police said after arresting the so-called fan.
This provoked an altercation and Chidi was brutally beaten on the head until he fell to the ground. He never recovered consciousness and died in hospital on Wednesday.
“As mayor of a town that is welcoming and open to integration, I feel I’m living in a nightmare,” the town’s mayor said.
The couple had been at the Fermo bishop’s seminary since September after fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, a local priest, Father Vinicio Albanesi, said the attack was probably linked to four bombs recently planted outside Fermo churches that have worked with migrants.
The bombs, which caused little damage and hurt no one, were left outside the churches including the Duomo between February and May.