Lazio chief unhappy with anti-discrimination regulations

Lazio President Claudio Lotito has criticised a UEFA and FIGC regulation that has seen a number of Italian stadiums closed because of racism.

Milan will have to play their game against Udinese behind closed doors because of ‘insulting’ chants heard by their fans.

But the Lazio chief has claimed that it is the offending fans who should be punished and not the clubs, suggesting that the current regulations could lead to blackmail.

“Michel Platini is not Gospel and the FIGC is one of the most important federations,” he said. “If a sector of the fans behave a certain way, they should be punished, but not the entire stadium. A few delinquents given this much power allow them to blackmail the clubs.”

“We are a team that is engaged with ending racism. And all forms of discrimination.

“Teams that implement such policies shouldn’t be punished because of a few people.

“The people who indulge in racist behaviour do not have any values or education [as to why it’s wrong].

“Sometime it’s not racism but rudeness that then flows into hooliganism.

“The measures are disproportionate. We should not be closing entire stadiums.”

Opinion remains divided over the decision to punish Milan for the fans’ anti-Neapolitan chants, but the sanction did find support with the Mayor of Naples.

“There is no such thing as a first class and second class discrimination,” said Mayor Luigi De Magistris.

“The Neapolitans have often been discriminated against in unacceptable fashion. People should get used to being respectful to their opponents, their hosts and their countrymen.

“In the stadiums we need to set a positive example, as these games are seen all over the world.”