As Lazio players wore Anne Frank shirts to combat anti-Semitism, their fans made Fascist chants and salutes during the game with Bologna.
The scandal surrounding the Aquile ultras shows no signs of abating, as the organised fan groups repeatedly refused to apologise for offence caused, even doubling down on what they insist was ‘banter.’
When the Curva Nord was closed for one match for repeated racist chanting, those season ticket holders were simply offered €1 seats in the opposite end, one usually reserved for Roma.
While there, they attached a series of insulting stickers to the Plexiglas wall, including several of Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing a Roma jersey.
Lazio President Claudio Lotito’s attempts to calm the situation back-fired spectacularly when he was caught on tape calling the visit to a synagogue “this charade.”
He then gave a television interview mistakenly stating he had gone to a mosque instead, confusing the two religions.
Ahead of every Serie A game this round, the players handed copies of Anne Frank’s diary to mascots and there was a moment’s reflection, during which a passage from the book was read out over the loudspeaker.
Lazio also warmed up wearing shirts featuring her face and the phrase: ‘No to anti-Semitism.’
However, reports from the Stadio Dall’Ara noted Lazio ultras at first boycotted the start by not entering the stadium until after the reading, then sang Fascist chants and made Roman salutes.
Adding another layer of insult to the proceedings, the Lazio fans were seated in the visitors’ section named after Arpad Weisz, the former Inter and Bologna Coach who died at Auschwitz in 1944.
It’s certainly not an issue just reserved for Lazio supporters, as ultras groups from several different clubs – including Juventus – released statements insisting there was nothing “scandalous” about the Anne Frank image.
“We want to point out the different consideration given by the mass media to the Ultras, above all our way of supporting and engaging in banter, which at times might exceed into dark humour, but should be read in context of simple football rivalry! Nothing more!” read a statement from Juventus group Viking.