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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Lazio ‘ultra’ fans want no women in stadium ‘sacred space’

The diehard supporters distributed flyers before their team’s Serie A opener at home to Napoli

Lazio fans have a history of provocations, which have led to punishments for racist and anti-Semitic incidents. Getty
Lazio fans have a history of provocations, which have led to punishments for racist and anti-Semitic incidents. Getty

Lazio’s "ultra" fans have caused outrage by telling women to avoid their “sacred space” in the club’s Stadio Olimpico.

The diehard supporters distributed flyers before their team’s Serie A opener at home to Napoli on Saturday.

“The Curva Nord represents for us a sacred space, an environment with an unwritten code to be respected,” read the flyer. “The first few rows, as always, have been experienced like the trenches. In the trenches, we do not allow women, wives and girlfriends, so we invite them to position themselves from the 10th row back.

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“Those who choose the stadium as an alternative to a carefree and romantic day in [Rome’s] Villa Borghese [gardens] should go to other sections.”

Lazio spokesman Arturo Diaconale told Italian news agency Ansa on Sunday that “it is not the position of the club, we are against any discrimination”.

He added: “Moreover, there is an enormous number of Lazio fans, this instead is an initiative from a few fans. We can’t always intervene to avoid politically incorrect displays like this.”

Some Lazio fans caused outrage last season when they littered the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with images of Anne Frank – the young diarist who died in the Holocaust – wearing a jersey of city rivals Roma. Lazio were fined €50,000 (Dh209,816) by the Italian football federation because of the anti-Semitism displayed by the team’s fans.

It was the latest in a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents, with Lazio previously having its stadium fully or partly closed for European and domestic matches as punishment.

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