Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Soccer:Lazio fans' 'Juden Tottenham' chant, Palestine flag

English
© ANSA

Rome, November 22 - Lazio's hard-core fans aimed an
anti-Semitic chant at Tottenham Hotspur supporters and displayed
a pro-Palestinian banner during a Europa League match between
the Roman and London clubs at Rome's Olympic Stadium Thursday.
The incident came after anti-Semitism was cited as one of
the possible motives behind a brutal attack on a group of
Tottenham Hotspur fans in a Rome pub Wednesday night that left
one supporter in a serious condition.
About 10 minutes into the match, before which former Spurs
and Lazio star Paul Gascoigne greeted cheering supporters of
both clubs, a section of 'ultra' fans started chanting "Juden
Tottenham, Juden Tottenham".
A few minutes later, a banner appeared in the same section
of the ground saying "Free Palestine".
Tottenham, or Spurs, are traditionally considered to have a
strong Jewish element in their fan base and followers continue
to be proud of this, although there seems to be little evidence
that today they have a higher ratio of Jewish fans than other
clubs.
Wednesday night's attack occurred at the Drunken Ship pub
in the central Campo de' Fiori square, one of the focal points
of Rome's night life.
Seven Spurs fans were taken to hospital with injuries and
one was in a critical condition after being set on by a group of
assailants wearing helmets and armed with knives, clubs and
knuckle-dusters.
The most badly hurt of the fans is said to have suffered
injuries to an artery after being stabbed in the leg and losing
lots of blood.
According to eye-witness accounts, the assailants shouted
"Jews" during the assault.
Some reports said the attack was carried out by as many as
50 youths.
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said the number of assailants
was smaller as he condemned the attack and called on police to
find the culprits.
Police detained several Italians suspected of taking part
in the raid and searched the homes of around six of them.
A supporter of AS Roma, Lazio's city rivals, was arrested
later in the day.
Lazio 'ultras' were initially blamed by many for the
attack. There are extreme right-wing elements in Lazio's
support, including some Fascist sympathisers.
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that
supporters of several teams were involved.
Lazio Chairman Claudio Lotito flatly denied suggestions his
side's supporters were responsible.
MPs urged the Italian government to report to parliament on
the assault.
Raffaele Ranucci, a Senator for the centre-left Democratic
Party, who made an unsuccessful appeal for the match to be
postponed, said: "It is necessary for the government to show the
public and parliament the dynamics of an attack that is
increasingly taking on anti-Semitic, racist, Fascist
connotations".
There have been several incidents of fans of foreign teams
being attacked and stabbed before European soccer games in Rome
in recent years.
Three Middlesbrough supporters were stabbed during
fights with AS Roma fans at the same pub as Thursday's attack
before a UEFA Cup quarter-final in 2006.
Thursday's match against Spurs was meant to be a
celebration because of Lotito's special invitation to former
England midfielder Gascoigne.
'Gazza', who has been engaged in a long battle against
alcoholism, is still highly popular among Lazio fans.

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