Lazio have been hit by a partial stadium closure for their Europa League match against Celtic according to reports.
The Italian side were facing a full stadium closure after racist behaviour and fascist salutes from their fans in their match against Rennes this month.
The partial stadium closure of the Ultras section was reported in the Italian media ahead of the official announcement.
A Lazio statement, however, seems to hit out at the decision, saying that UEFA didn’t “take into account the clear condemnation expressed promptly” by the club.
It’s not the first time Lazio have faced a racism rap and have previously had a partial closure of the stadium imposed upon them. Their president, Claudio Lotito, recently referred to white skin as “normal skin”.
Lazio earlier blasted the sanctions, La Repubblica reports.
The club said “The decisions of the ‘Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’ of UEFA with reference to the behavior of some supporters during the meeting between SS Lazio and Stade Rennais FC constitute a heavy penalization that does not seem to have taken into account the clear condemnation expressed promptly by the biancoceleste society against the hateful racist acts carried out by a few irresponsible “.
“The sentence, at the same time, confirms the firm will of Lazio to continue on the line of” zero tolerance “established by the president Claudio Lotito.
“The company also reiterates its intention to prosecute criminally and civilly those responsible for unacceptable events that cause not only serious damage to the image and heritage of Lazio, but which heavily penalize the vast majority of supporters that have always been foreign and contrary to excesses racists of a small minority.
“Lazio, however, on the basis of findings in the process of finding, reserves the right to appeal to UEFA decisions to reduce penalties that are largely discharged on the most responsible and virtuous supporters.”
Having previously been hit with a partial closure, Lazio’s reported angry response seem to suggest a greater fate than the one La Repubblica is suggesting.
With racist behaviour on the rise, Lazio deserve whatever punishment they are hit with.
That, however, will be no consolation to the thousands of Celtic fans who have already booked a trip to Rome will be anxiously awaiting official confirmation tomorrow.