Lazio ultras have released a statement expressing their anger at the sporting judge’s decision to close the Curva Nord for the match with Empoli.
Around 1000 travelling Biancocelesti supporters reportedly chanted racist abuse toward Lecce duo Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda during their clash on Wednesday, leading to widespread condemnation across the Italian football world.
The incident forced the referee to temporarily suspend the match and coach Maurizio Sarri later claimed that he couldn’t hear anything from the dugout. The sporting judge announced afterward that the Curva Nord would be closed for one match as punishment. The club denounced the behaviour and promised to help the authorities identify those responsible.
Following the decision, the Lazio ultras released a statement (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) sharing their frustration with the ruling, pointing out the hypocrisy of modern football.
The usual hypocritical football, the usual football lords who follow the politically correct ready to judge, condemn and punish. There is indignation over a chant and a whole sector of 10,000 seats is closed. For what reason?
Then let’s remind them that they agreed, for money, to host a World Cup in Qatar, with a bribe ring of millions of euros uncovered among the members of the European Parliament to favour the competition.
In a country that is truly racist, homophobic and discriminatory to the core, where women cannot even leave the house. And again, let’s refresh our memory: Every Sunday, because this has always been the stadium, opposing fans are insulted with chants such as ‘gypsy’, ‘terrone’, ‘nomad’, mothers and children, but no one has ever bothered to close a Curva. And rightly so.
They did it with us Laziali, to hit us, to sink us in the name of the (false) fight against racism, which they use as they wish.
We go on, without bending and always defending our Lazio, in every stadium in Italy and Europe. In the face of those who attack us and against those who want to bend us, in the knowledge that they will never succeed.
The incident has again sparked divisions amongst Lazio supporters, with some calling for widespread bans and serious efforts to root out the racism problem, whilst others suggest that it’s overstated and not a concerning issue.