Wednesday April 24 2019
Lazio fans racially abuse Bakayoko

The tension is escalating ahead of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan, as Lazio ultras are already aiming racist chants at Tiemoue Bakayoko.

The first leg ended 0-0 at the decider is at San Siro tonight at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

There are significant concerns for crowd trouble, as a group of around 50 Lazio ultras from the Irriducibili group unveiled a banner that read ‘Honour to Benito Mussolini’ and made Fascist salutes near Piazzale Loreto, where Mussolini’s body was famously strung up by partisans in the final days of the war.

Tomorrow is April 25, the Festival of Liberation in Italy to mark their freedom from the Fascists, so this game is evidently being used as a pretext to stage a political protest.

The same ultras were also filmed outside San Siro making racist chants about Milan players Tiemoue Bakayoko and Franck Kessie.

Similar chants were filmed during recent games against Udinese and Chievo, referencing an incident when Bakayoko and Kessie mocked Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi.

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Far Right party Lega Nord, as well as being the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and a very vocal Milan supporter, had his say on Twitter.

“No tolerance for any form of violence, whether physical or verbal. I thank the police force who are carefully monitoring the situation.

“Football must be an occasion to celebrate and meet up, not of brawls and clashes.”