Thursday February 4 2016
Lazio fined for racist chants

Lazio’s Curva Nord will be closed for two games and the club has been fined €50,000 for "unequivocally racist" chanting.

Last night’s defeat to Napoli was temporarily suspended after fans directed racist abuse at Kalidou Koulibaly, as well as signing anti-Neapolitan chants.

Referee Massimiliano Irrati's report noted that "from the first minute of the second half, every time the black player number 26 of Napoli [Koulibaly] played the ball in front of the Curva Nord, chants like "ooh-ooh" were directed at him, with the intention being unequivocally racist".

It was then requested that announcements be made over the stadium speaker that the game would be suspended if the chants continued.

"The announcement was not made," Irrati explained. "So after 22 minutes of the second half, as the chants continued, I decided to temporarily suspend the game.

"During the the three minute and 40 second suspension, an announcement was made over the speaker."

The decision was not motivated by Irrati’s decision to suspend play, and would have been imposed anyway.

The Lega Serie A's report also noted that the Curva Nord, Distinti Tevere and Distinti Monte Mario sections of the stadium had repeatedly directed racist chants at Koulibaly, with the sections hosting a total of 5,145 fans.

The punishment applied was a one-match closure of the sections mentioned, as well as another game ban which had been suspended after a similar incident in Lazio-Genoa in February 2015.

The penalty will be applied for the home games against Verona and Sassuolo.

The Biancocelesti were also fined €15,000 for "chants expressive of discrimination based on territorial origin" directed at the Neapolitan fans.

“We’ll evaluate the findings and decide whether or not to appeal,” Lazio’s lawyer Gian Michele Gentile told LaLazioSiamoNoi.

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