The controversial flyer that was handed out in the Curva Nord before the game against Napoli has caused quite an upset and negative response. The message was that women and children should avoid the first ten rows of the Curva Nord, that instead should be assigned to the real ultras of Lazio. There is now the danger that such a statement, publicly disseminated during a sporting event [what is worse, inside the stadium], may result in negative consequences in terms of sporting justice against the club, fans, and authors of the flyers.

In terms of sporting justice, Article 11 of the Code of Sporting Justice of the FIGC establishes in paragraph 1 that “any conduct that, directly or indirectly, involves offense, denigration or insult [discriminatory behavior] for reasons of race, color, religion, language, sex, nationality, ethnic origin is punishable as a disciplinary offense”. Following this in paragraph 3, it states that “Clubs are responsible for the introduction or exhibition in sports facilities by their supporters of drawings, writings, symbols, emblems or similar, bearing expressions of discrimination”.

For the people responsible for the creation of the flyers, it could likely lead to fines and/or stadium bans. The penalties for the clubs may consist of: “the obligation to play one or more games with one or more sectors without spectators; in the loss of the race; or, if there are serious and significant facts, in the loss of the race with, jointly and severally, the obligation to play one or more games with no spectators, the disqualification of the stadium for one or more games of competition, the penalization of one or more points in the standings, the exclusion from the championship, the non-admission or exclusion from participation in certain events.”

The response from the ultras in Curva Nord is that the whole event has been taken out of proportion and the intention never was to “ban women” from Curva Nord, they just wanted to make it clear that it would be better for them to stand somewhere else. The main message was that they wanted to restore Curva Nord as it has been and for that to happen, these rows need to consist of “real ultras“.

Now ANSA reports that an investigation has been opened by prosecutor Giuseppe Percoraro. The director general of the FIGC, Michele Uva, says “there will certainly be disciplinary consequences for Lazio after fans ‘banned’ women from the Curva Nord. From a personal point of view the sentence is obvious” – Uva told ANSA – “The sporting justice system and the ordinary justice system will do their work but there’s not much to investigate, we just need to revisit the incident. There will certainly be disciplinary consequences but it doesn’t just depend on me, it’s also down to the organs of sporting justice. Alas if there are newspapers who give space to the thoughts or replies of the protagonists of this ugly event it means there’s something wrong not just in football, but in society.”

It remains to be seen what will happen to Lazio, but it is a harder event to take in than the defeat to Napoli.

 

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