Lazio given stadium reprieve

UEFA will permit Lazio to open its stadium to spectators after ordering it closed for a Europa League match as a result of racist chanting by fans.

UEFA say its appeals committee ruled that Lazio need close only the Curva Nord section of the Stadio Olimpico when Apollon of Cyprus visits on November 7.

Lazio was prosecuted for “racist behaviour” by fans and an offensive banner when it hosted Legia Warsaw on September 19.

Fans “performed racist chants against the Slavic people,” according to monitors at the match from anti-discrimination group Fare.

Lazio were repeatedly punished by UEFA last season over their fans’ behaviour, which presumably, was one of the reasons European football’s governing body decided to opt for the stadium ban. The decision to ease that sanction does not exactly send out a message of zero tolerance.