Lazio Hit with Another Stadium Ban for Racist Chants
One can’t help but question the status of Italian football after it was ruled that Lega Serie A side Lazio’s Curva Nord (North Curve) stand will be closed for two games following more racial chants by the fans during their 6-1 win over rivals Sassuolo.
The chanting was aimed at Sassuolo’s Alfred Duncan and Claud Adjapong – the latter born to Ghanaian parents in Italy. The side tried to intervene by issuing warnings over the loudspeakers but the message like many times before fell on deaf ears.
Speaking to ANSA, after the game on Sunday, Adjapong who is currently on International duty with the Italian under-19 was surprised to hear the disgusting chants which didn’t deter his focus.
“I heard the racist chants at the Olimpico, but when I’m on the field, I just focus on playing my game and obtaining my objective,” Adjapong told ANSA.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“It’s strange that in 2017, there are still people who discriminate due to the color of your skin or sexuality. I’ve had experiences in the past but when am on the field, it doesn’t interest me what people say to each other,”[/perfectpullquote]
In its latest round of disciplinary sanctions, the Lega Serie A FA found that ‘around 2000 of the 5449 occupants’ of the section were guilty of ‘chants expressive of racial discrimination’ in the 31st and 77th minute.
This is just the latest incident involving the side whose fans have already served bans for racist chants in both UEFA and Serie A fixtures.
Last week alone, Lazio was forced to play its Europa League fixture against Zulte Waregem behind closed doors due to a suspended punishment for racial chants aimed at Sparta Prague’s players two seasons ago.
The side was also banned in 2013 and forced to play its opening game in an empty stadium after racial slurs aimed at three Juventus players, who at the time included Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
The sentence has been doubled from the usual one game closure as the league also decided to enforce the conditionally suspended ban from last year’s Roma derby on April 30th to try and curb the vice.
The Curva Nord will now be closed for Lazio’s next two home games which will be against Cagliari on October 22nd and Udinese on November 5th.
Italian Football Federation has rules allowing the referee to stop matches and warn fans about their behavior, but one can’t help and wonder if this is enough to stop the vice.
Featured Photo: Lazio.com