The president of Lazio says the club can not be held responsible for the fascist banners displayed by supporters during Sunday’s Serie A match with Livorno.

Supporters held up a banner reading “Fascist Rome” and chanted right-wing slogans during their team’s 3-1 win.

“Sport must not take up political positions. As a club we bear no responsibility,” Claudio Lotito told Italian television programme Stadio Sprint on Sunday.

“With the minute’s silence (before the match) in memory of the Pope the club demonstrated it does not have a political position, but rather has tried to instil morals and the rediscovery of authentic and spiritual values.

“The responsibility (for the chants) is ours only if we do nothing to stop them. We can’t put a police officer on every fan.”

The banner will not help a club already plagued by accusationss of racism.

Last season UEFA handed Lazio a one-match stadium ban after their fans chanted racist abuse at Partizan Belgrade players during a UEFA Cup match. This season, Lazio striker Paolo Di Canio caused controversy by performing a fascist-style salute at the end of the city derby against Roma.