Lazio hit with stand closure for Celtic game over ‘racist behaviour’

Lazio had been charged after some of their supporters made fascist salutes in the Curva Nord section during the 2-1 home win over French club Rennes on October 3.
Stadio Olimpico(Getty Images)
Stadio Olimpico(Getty Images)
Updated on Oct 16, 2019 03:10 PM IST
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Milan | ByAFP

Italian club Lazio have been hit with a partial stadium closure for their next Europa League home match against Celtic for “racist behaviour” by fans against Rennes, UEFA confirmed on Wednesday. The Roman side have been ordered to close four sections of the Stadio Olimpico which make up the Curva Nord (North Stand) for the game against the Scottish champions on November 7.

Lazio had been charged after some of their supporters made fascist salutes in the Curva Nord section during the 2-1 home win over French club Rennes on October 3.

Lazio have also been fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) by European football’s governing body which has called for football to launch a war on racism.

A suspended sentence of playing one match behind closed doors was also handed down while Lazio must display a banner with the wording #EqualGame, with the UEFA logo on it.

On Tuesday UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said football needed to ‘wage war’ on racism, after Bulgaria’s football union chief resigned following racist incidents at England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia the previous day.

Lazio released a statement prior to the announcement protesting the “deeply damaging” ruling.

“The decisions constitute a heavy penalty that seems not to have taken into account the clear condemnation from the Biancocelesti club against the odious racist behaviour of a few irresponsible people,” the club said.

The statement added that the club “reaffirms its intention to prosecute criminally and civilly those responsible for unacceptable behaviour”.

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