UEFA reject Lazio stadium appeal
Published : 11 Mar 2013 19:16:54
European football's ruling body UEFA on Monday rejected Serie A outfit Lazio's appeal at what the club termed an "excessive" punishment of having to play their next two home Europa League games behind closed doors following incidents in their last European outing.
UEFA ruled that racist behaviour and the setting off of smokebombs in their recent 2-0 win over German side Borussia Moenchengladbach in the last 32 of the Europa League warranted the club being made to entertain Stuttgart in Thursday's last 16 return in an empty Olympic stadium.
If the Italians progress their fans will also be excluded from the home leg of their quarter-final.
The club were also fined 40,000 euros (52,000 dollars) for the incidents against Moenchengladbach match.
Lazio had already been in trouble with UEFA earlier this season following racist incidents during both legs of their Europa League ties against Premier League side Tottenham.
Those incidents prompted UEFA to send observers to Lazio's last home game and they reported several hundred Lazio fans making Roman salutes -- which resemble the Nazi salute -- during Moenchengladbach's visit on February 21.
Lazio president Claudio Lotito claims he is taking a firm stance against the club's hardcore support, many of whom are reputed to have far right sympathies.
But UEFA's Disciplinary Commission rejected the appeal.