Toxic soccer matches: Stabbings, fascist salutes and banners mocking Mussolini

    Celtic's fans display banners during the UEFA Europe League group stage match between Celtic and Lazio, at Celtic Park, on October 24, 2019, in Glasgow, Scotland. sup

    (CNN)Stabbings, fans appearing to make Nazi salutes as well as supporters mocking former Italian leader Benito Mussolini combined to produce a toxic atmosphere in a leading European football game Thursday.

    The Europa League match between Italian club Lazio and Scotland's Celtic in Rome's Stadio Olimpico was decided by French midfielder Olivier Ntcham's 95th-minute winner in favor of the Scottish team in a game that finished 2-1.
    For the previous 94 minutes, a number of Celtic fans had reveled in taunting their Italian hosts, particularly after a similarly heated game in Glasgow between the clubs a fortnight ago.
      Shortly after Lazio's arrival in Glasgow on October 24, videos appeared on social media seemingly showing Lazio "ultras" -- a hardcore faction of supporters -- making fascist raised-arm gestures as they walked through the city center.
      The Rome club has found it difficult to shake off historical associations with fascism. Mussolini was a reported fan of the club and in the past, Lazio has had players who have openly displayed fascist beliefs, such as Paolo Di Canio.
      Former Lazio player Di Canio, who also used to play for Celtic, said in 2005 that he was "a fascist, not a racist."
      Lazio's forward Paolo Di Canio gesturing towards Lazio fans.
      During the Glasgow game, the Celtic fans unfurled a banner with an image of Mussolini hanging by his feet and the message "Follow Your Leader."
      The banner refers to Mussolini's death to Italian partisans in 1945 and his hanging in an Esso garage in Milan.
      This prompted Mussolini granddaughter Alessandra Mussolini to call for Celtic fans to be prosecuted.
      Fast forward to Thursday and some Celtic fans continued to taunt their Lazio counterparts. A picture on social media, showed a group of Celtic fans in the Stadio Olimpico holding up a fellow supporter from their legs.
      On the eve of the game, Celtic confirmed that two of its fans had been stabbed in Rome.
      "Celtic can confirm that two fans have been i