Crowd ban for Lazio

Lazio will play a European match behind closed doors for the third time this year after UEFA found the club guilty of four charges.

Last Updated: 04/10/13 at 19:47 Post Comment

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Lazio will play a European match behind closed doors for the third time this year after UEFA found the club guilty of four charges, including racist chanting by their fans.

UEFA announced the sanction, as well as a 40,000 euros (£33,800) fine, on Friday following an investigation into incidents during the Italian club's 1-0 win against Legia Warsaw on September 19 in Rome.

The club will therefore play in front of an empty stadium against Europa League Group J rivals Apollon Limassol on November 7.

The punishments continue Lazio's poor recent disciplinary record with UEFA after they were sanctioned on four separate occasions for racist chanting by their fans last season - including home and away ties against Tottenham.

UEFA forced the club to play their Europa League last-16 and quarter-final home ties against Stuttgart and Fenerbahce behind closed doors in March and April.

Lazio's charge sheet this time around also included the displaying a of an "inappropriate banner" and the ignition of fireworks.

Coach Vladimir Petkovic was also handed a warning after the match kicked off late.

"The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA," a UEFA statement read.

"The European governing body has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.

"Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on 1 June, the fight against racist conduct has been stepped up a level - resulting in more severe sanctions to deter any such behaviour."

Lazio have three days to appeal the punishment.


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