UEFA take action against Lazio over racism chants

07 January 2013 05:17

European football's governing body on Monday said it had opened disciplinary proceedings against Lazio a Europa Cup tie with English Premier League side Tottenham was marred by racist chanting.

UEFA said the charges "relate to the alleged racist behaviour of Lazio supporters" during the 0-0 draw on November 22 last year, when some sections of the Rome club's fans brandished a banner reading "Free Palestine".

Others sang "Juden Tottenham" ("Tottenham Jews" in German) at the visiting fans, whose club has a historical Jewish connection.

Lazio were previously fined £32,500 ($51,800, 40,200 euros) by UEFA after monkey chants were directed at Tottenham players during the reverse fixture in London in September.

They will also face fresh sanctions after its fans threw "missiles and/or fireworks" and "incidents of a non-sporting nature" as well as for the late arrival of their players at the ground and delays in handing over the team sheet.

Tottenham, meanwhile, will face action over crowd disturbances during the match when UEFA's disciplinary committee meets on January 24.

The head of the Italian football federation, Giancarlo Abete, apologised in a letter to English Football Association chairman David Bernstein, blaming what he said were "mindless thugs" with "racist and anti-Semitic views".

Before the match, fans of the north London club were attacked in a pub by a group of about 40 people, leaving several in hospital.

Two people, reportedly with connections to Rome's other Serie A club AS Roma, were arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Source: AFP