Lazio President Claudio Lotito spoke ahead of tonight’s Serie A game with Udinese and slammed those who blamed his club for the attack on Tottenham fans.
The Biancocelesti will step out on to the field this evening wearing special ‘No racism’ jerseys after a group of Spurs fans were ambushed in an anti-Semitic attack in a Rome bar last week.
“We found ourselves in a difficult situation due to what happened to the Tottenham fans,” said Lotito on Sky Sport Italia. He visited the supporter who remains in hospital and pointed out so far the only arrests in the attack have been Roma ultras.
“The whole world said our fans had staged a ‘Nazi raid’ on this group of supporters, then a whole other truth emerged.
“Now some have even called for Lazio to be thrown out of UEFA competitions. I wanted to clarify what happened and re-establish our reputation.
“I wanted to show respect for someone who risked his life to come and see a football match. I also showed how important his presence and that of his family is in Rome, as I am taking care of their needs.”
While no Lazio ultras have so far been identified in the attack, the club was fined for racist chanting at White Hart Lane and an anti-Semitic banner was spotted during the second leg of their Europa League game.
“I confirm our club is against racism and so are our supporters, who disassociated themselves from this attack that had absolutely nothing to do with sport. It was a criminal act.
“I hope this jersey can be understood for the value we have given to it. It is terrible that a wrong image is given of a hospitable city like Rome.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.