Monday December 2 2013
Govt works to free Warsaw Lazio fans

There are still 22 Lazio fans being held in Warsaw and, after a sit-in protest, the Italian Government has demanded an explanation.

Around 120 supporters were arrested before Thursday night’s Europa League game against Legia Warsaw and many were held for several days without charge.

Most were allowed to leave after paying a fine, but 22 Italians are still in Polish cells awaiting their fate.

Lazio play Napoli today in Serie A and around 200 fans took part in a sit-in protest outside the Foreign Office. They held a large banner that read: ‘Free them!’

The message has come through, as Italy’s Foreign Minister Emma Bonino publicly asked her Polish colleague Radoslaw Sikorski “for clarification on the situation of 22 of our citizens who are held in Warsaw prisons.

“I also asked him to work to ensure they can be released, at least on bail, awaiting trial. Sikorski promised me his personal interest and pledged to give me updates soon.

“I also spoke to Lazio President Claudio Lotito and expressed my solidarity for those peaceful fans who found themselves caught up in situations that have nothing to do with the spectacle of football.

“I also reassured him and outlined all the actions the Government is taking to release all our arrested citizens.”

Lazio supporters in Warsaw told the media they were “tricked” into going down a blind alley by police and rounded up, even when asking the local authorities for protection as they walked to the stadium.

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