Lazio have released a statement condemning the suggestion by French authorities that the club’s fans are violent and fascist.

As discussed in an official statement yesterday, the Biancocelesti accepted the French Ministry of the Interior’s decision to prohibit the attendance of Lazio fans for the upcoming Europa League match against Olympique Marseille, remembering how the French fans were prohibited from attending their recent meeting in Rome.

Lazio were unable to accept the parts of the statement that suggested that their fans were violent, sung fascist songs and displayed the Roman salute.

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Below is Lazio’s statement in full:

The decision of the French Ministry of the Interior to prohibit, as a precautionary measure, the trip to the city of Marseille for Lazio fans is not surprising and is in line with what has already been decided by the Italian authorities in the first match.

What is rather surprising is the way in which the ordinance was applied on a national scale and its unjustifiable motivations (which were also reported on the national news): Lazio cannot accept a gratuitous offence to the entire biancoceleste fan base and to the Team itself, which has always fought violent behaviour and any type of discrimination, inside and outside the stadiums, with concrete actions. 

Società Sportiva Lazio has always put in place initiatives aimed at promoting the principles of the values of sport and the overcoming of all social, cultural, economic, ethnic and religious barriers, as has been widely acknowledged at the highest institutional levels.

We have also seen that violence in stadiums is unfortunately still a widespread and worrying phenomenon, starting with what happened recently at the Velodrome in Marseille.

We, therefore, expect clarification from the French institutions and a clear position of our diplomacy towards expressions of indifference that should outrage all Italians, regardless of whether they are fans or not, and regardless of the colours of their flags.

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Olympique Marseille fans were banned from attending the first meeting between these two sides earlier this season in Rome, a decision made by the Italian authorities. Entry to the stadium was also prohibited to those with a French passport.

In that match, Marseille claimed that some of their players were subjected to racist abuse by some of the Lazio fans.