Skip to main content

Lazio hit by terrace closure for Serie A opener

August 19, 2013 -- Updated 1644 GMT (0044 HKT)
Lazio will stage their first match of the new Serie A season without a section of their fans
Lazio will stage their first match of the new Serie A season without a section of their fans
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Italian club Lazio forced to shut a section of their ground for opening Serie A match
  • The terrace closure is punishment after Lazio fans were guilty of racist abuse
  • Fans in the Curva Nord shouted abuse at black Juventus players during Supercup final
  • Juventus player Paul Pogba says abuse "shows a lack of respect"

(CNN) -- Italian football club Lazio must play their opening home game of the season with a section of their fans banned from the match as punishment for racial abuse.

Organisers of Italy's top-flight championship Serie A said in a statement that it had found Lazio fans guilty of "shouts and chants expressive of racial discrimination against three players of the opposing team" during the Italian Supercup final Sunday.

The match, which was won 4-0 by defending Serie A champions Juventus, was held at Lazio's Olympic Stadium in Rome.

League chiefs said Lazio supporters in the Curva Nord stand twice directed sustained abuse at the players involved in the traditional Serie A curtain raiser.

As punishment, that section of the ground will now be closed for Lazio's match against Udinese on 25 August.

France midfielder Paul Pogba was one of the Juventus players targeted by abuse by some of Lazio's more hardcore supporters.

He told the French news agency AFP: "What can I do? I'm alone against 30,000 fans. They do that even though there are blacks in their team.

"It's also a lack of respect towards their own players.

"It's really not nice to come to a football match and hear those sort of things but I'm a player, I concentrate on my job."

Italian football has been plagued by racist discrimination, with the sport's authorities struggling to eradicate the problem despite repeated efforts.

In June the Italian Football Federation brought in new rules allowing referees to stop matches and warn fans about their behavior, while players and clubs could potentially face tougher sanctions.

Last season Lazio fans were found guilty of racist behaviour by Uefa four times.

Following Sunday's Supercup final, Juventus and Lazio were also both fined by 5,000 euros after fans lit flares in the stands.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT