Soccer

Lazio fans target Platini with offensive banner

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ROME (AP)

Lazio supporters have targeted UEFA President Michel Platini with an offensive banner after the team was ordered to play its next two European home matches in an empty stadium due to persistent fan racism.

At the start of Lazio's match with Fiorentina on Sunday, hard-core ''ultra'' fans held aloft a banner that read, ''Heysel 29/05/85. You had the strength to play...and to celebrate in the face of 39 deaths...Platini (expletive) you have no morals.''

Lazio's Stadio Olimpico will first be closed for the second leg of the Europa League last-16 match Thursday against Stuttgart.

During the 1985 European Cup final at Heysel in Belgium, 39 people were killed when riots broke out and a wall separating Liverpool and Juventus fans collapsed. Platini was then a Juventus player.

UEFA is scheduled to hear Lazio's appeal Monday.



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