Italian football investigates anti-semitic chant by Lazio fans

MILAN: Italian football authorities are investigating alleged anti-semitic chanting from Lazio fans during the weekend’s Rome derby, Serie A announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, Italy’s top flight said that a “follow-up investigation” would be carried out to verify the number of supporters making the offensive chants, videos of which circulated on social media after Lazio’s 1-0 win over Roma on Sunday.

Serie A said the “boorish, outrageous and religiously discriminatory” chants were aimed at Roma fans “several times before the match and once during the game itself”.

On Monday Lazio condemned “expressions of anti-semitism and racism which happen in almost every match at every stadium in Italy”.

“They’re not part of our culture and don’t represent our fans,“ the club added in a statement.

Fascist fan groups are common across Italy, including at Roma, but Lazio’s hardcore supporters have a connection to the extreme right which stretches back to at least the 1970s.

Lazio’s historic ultras group, the ‘Irriducibili’, had friendly relations with their equally right-wing counterparts at Inter Milan and Verona.

Last season the handler of Lazio’s eagle mascot praised dictators Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco after being suspended by the club for performing a fascist salute at the end of a match.

Mussolini’s great grandson Romano Floriani plays for Lazio, although he is yet to feature in a first-team match and claims to have no interest in politics.

The 19-year-old’s mother is former right-wing politician Alessandra Mussolini, who was once a member of neo-Fascist party Italian Social Movement.-AFP