Lazio will officially play two Europa League games behind closed doors, but President Claudio Lotito slams this as an “abnormal and absurd” move by UEFA.
The club was already on a suspended sentence for instances of racist abuse from supporters during this season and stadium inspectors spotted around 300 members of the crowd performing Nazi salutes during the 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
UEFA came down hard on the Biancocelesti, inflicting a two-game order to play behind closed doors, plus a €40,000 fine.
Although there is no statement from UEFA yet, Lazio Head of Communications Stefano De Martino confirmed to Lazio Style Radio that the ban was in place, starting from the tie with Stuttgart on March 14.
“It is an abnormal move compared to the reality of the situation,” slammed President Lotito on RaiSport.
“Lazio did everything we could and should have done to stop this from happening. It seems absurd to me that we have to play behind closed doors, which will seriously damage the club economically and stop the fans from participating in this event.
“We cannot as a club be penalised for the mistakes of a small minority. We will lodge an appeal. I repeat, everyone knows how much we did to prevent this sort of thing from happening, achieving results that nobody else has on a national level.
“We must distinguish between the delinquents who act on their own volition and those fans who express themselves in a civilised fashion.
“It is not possible that a club has to pay for the errors of an individual.”