In a recent discussion on Reddit, a UK fan remarked that Lazio has more supporters overseas than in Italy. He was only half joking. Data from Statista suggests that only around three percent of Italian football supporters follow Lazio. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with exclusivity. Only dead fish go with the flow, and Juventus is welcome to those.
But it’s worth noting that there is truth on the other side of the Redditor’s coin, too. Lazio has attracted good support from overseas since the 1980s and today’s global fanbase has never been stronger. In part, that’s because online resources make it so easy to follow a team on the other side of the planet. But it’s also got a lot to do with Lazio’s unique appeal. Let’s take a look at three of the Lazio fan hotspots.
The obvious place to start, there are thousands of Lazio fans in the UK, and a fair proportion of them are in and around the capital. Lazio London doesn’t call itself a supporters club as such, just a loosely formed confederacy of like minded people who want to watch Lazio games in good company and over a couple of drinks.
The group was formed 10 years ago by lifelong Lazio fan Massimiliano Ciccone when he moved from Rome to London. He found a pub south of the river that was prepared to show the Lazio games as long as Massimiliano and his friend turned up to watch and had a thirst. Massimiliano put the word out on social media, eventually creating a Facebook group, and the rest is history.
Today, Lazio London is about 200 strong. Members meet at the Hoop and Toy next to South Kensington tube where they watch Lazio games in a private room. They have also forged links between Lazio and West Ham.
S.S. Lazio Club Toronto
Football, or soccer if we must, is enjoying ever more support across the Atlantic and the growth of sports betting in Canada has only made it stronger. S.S. Lazio Club Toronto is a Toronto-based supporters’ group that has been around for the past 20 years.
Like their associates in London, it’s a shared love of both Lazio and good cold beer that has brought them together. Having had a few different meeting points over the years, they currently gather for Lazio games on the big screen at the Ciociaro Social Club in Woodbridge.
Australians love their sport, and they don’t much mind whether the ball is round or oval, large or small, hard or soft. Although they are more doers than watchers, there’s nevertheless a strong community of Lazio fans down under, brought together by those same factors we saw in the UK and Canada.
The club is officially Sydney-based but has members across the nation, and even a few in New Zealand. Franco Sama talked at length to The Laziali about life as a Lazio fan in Australia in this online interview.