Lazio fined $190K for fans’ racist abuse
Lazio has avoided being ordered by UEFA to play a Europa League
match in an empty stadium despite a third conviction for racist
abuse by fans this season.
UEFA said on Wednesday it fined Lazio ?140,000 ($190,000) and
deferred a stadium closure ”for a probationary period of two
Lazio was found guilty of racist behavior among a range of
offenses relating to its home match against Tottenham in Rome on
Nov. 22 and a game in Slovenia against Maribor on Dec. 6.
In addition to chants, Lazio fans displayed a ”Free Palestine”
banner at the Olympic Stadium, taunting Tottenham which
traditionally draws fans from London’s Jewish community.
UEFA previously fined the Italian club ?40,000 (then $52,300)
for its fans’ racist behavior when it first played Tottenham, in
London in September.
Lazio has earned ?2.6 million ($3.53 million) in UEFA bonuses
and prize money by winning its Europa League group. It can get
further payments from UEFA for advancing through knockout rounds,
and the club will also collect a share of Italian broadcasting
revenues for the competition.
UEFA’s disciplinary panel ruling will stir further debate on the
severity of sanctions for incidents involving racism and
discrimination inside stadiums.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said clubs and national teams
should have points deducted as a deterrent.
Still, FIFA did not deduct World Cup qualifying points from
Bulgaria and Hungary this month when judging racist abuse cases.
Both teams will play their next home qualifier in an empty
Lazio next plays at home in the Europa League on Feb. 21 against
Borussia Moenchengladbach, in the second leg of a last-32
UEFA also fined Tottenham ?10,000 ($13,570) and Maribor ?17,000
($23,070) for crowd disturbances at the same matches.
The clubs can challenge all sanctions at UEFA’s appeals
UEFA acted on the second Lazio-Tottenham match after receiving
reports from the English Football Association and the European
fans’ network, FARE, which sends monitors to high-risk games.
The match, which ended 0-0, was played amid tension after
attacks on Tottenham fans in a bar in central Rome the previous