Italian soccer team in more trouble over alleged racist behavior by fans

March 11, 2016 22:16
1 minute read.


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Lazio will face disciplinary proceedings from European soccer's governing body UEFA after alleged racist chanting by their fans forced another of their matches to be briefly stopped by the referee.

Thursday's Europa League tie at Sparta Prague was halted after Costa Nhamoinesu, a black Zimbabwean player for the Czech team, was jeered as he was taking a thrown-in.

UEFA confirmed on Friday that the Italian side would face a disciplinary hearing on March 22 for "racist behaviour" and the display of an "illicit banner" by their supporters.

Last month, Lazio were fined 50,000 euros ($55,780.00) and ordered to partially close the Stadio Olimpico for two Serie A games after their league match at home to Napoli was suspended when home fans aimed racist abuse at a visiting player.

Thursday's incident happened midway through the first half of the last 16, first-leg tie and held up play for about one minute.

Jeering could clearly be heard on television replays as Costa went to take a throw-in and the player complained to the referee, who was then seen to talk with a UEFA official.

Shortly afterwards, a warning was made over the public address system, the first step under UEFA's three-stage process which can end with the match being abandoned if the trouble does not stop.

Play resumed and no further incidents were reported.

In 2013, Lazio were ordered to play two European matches behind closed doors by UEFA following four different acts of racism by their fans.

Sparta will also face the same hearing after supporters set off fireworks during the game which ended 1-1, UEFA said.

The second leg is on March 18, four days before the hearing takes place.

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