Roma hit with stadium sanction

06 February 2014 02:16

Serie A officials on Thursday hit AS Roma with partial stadium sanctions after fans were charged with singing songs of a "discriminatory nature" during a Cup match against Napoli.

The sanction means Roma's north and south stands will be closed to fans during the Giallorossi's ensuing home games against Sampdoria (February 16) and Inter Milan (March 2).

Roma beat Napoli 3-2 in the first leg of the sides' Italian Cup semi-final on Wednesday, however the encounter was marred by some sections of the Olympic Stadium targeting Napoli with discriminatory chants.

A statement by Serie A officials on Thursday went as far as highlighting the lyrics of the song: "Wash them, wash them, wash them with the fire from Vesuvius", heard at various times throughout the match.

The song is a reference to Mount Vesuvius -- the volcano which overlooks the city of Naples and whose eruption in AD 79 led to the destruction of Pompeii -- and has often been sung by fans of rival clubs to antagonise and provoke the Napoli support.

However, it is now considered unacceptable by Italian football authorities as they try to clamp down on racism as well as the regional discrimination which has marred internal football rivalries for decades.

Roma CEO Italo Zanzi said the club had yet to decide whether to appeal the decision, but added: "But we would like to underline that we are against all forms of discrimination."

Source: AFP