Lazio fans banned for life over 'Hitlerson' shirt and anti-Semitic gestures

Lazio fans Rome derby 2022-23Getty Images

The Derby della Capitale has always been one of the more fiery affairs in Italy's top flight, but in recent decades the rivalry between both sets of supporters has taken on a more sinister tone.

Sunday's Serie A matchup was no different, as Lazio fans in the clubs' shared Stadio Olimpico could be seen making fascist salutes and singing anti-semitic chants.

In the hours following the match - which was won by Lazio thanks to a solitary Mattia Zaccagni strike - footage emerged on social media of one fan present at the Olimpico wearing a Lazio shirt. On the back, the name 'Hitlerson' was written, alongside the number 88.

Lazio condemned the anti-semitic gestures in a club statement issued on Wednesday, which read: "In the course of Sunday's match, Lazio v Roma, and in the days immediately following, three people were identified who were the protagonists of behaviour that had nothing to do with supporting and which manifested forms of discrimination and anti-Semitism."

The Biancoceleste club then revealed that they had been collaborating with authorities and were able to identify the individuals involved. As a result, three supporters were issued a lifetime ban.

The statement continued: "Thanks to the collaboration between Società Sportiva Lazio, its own security service, stewards and the police, also through the use of the surveillance cameras at the Stadio Olimpico, it was possible to quickly identify a person wearing the shirt with the number 88 bearing the inscription "Hitlerson" and two others who ostentatiously made the gesture of the Roman salute".

It is not the first time anti-semitism has dominated the Rome derby, with references to Jewish prisoner of war Anne Frank often abhorrently referenced by Lazio supporters to their Roma neighbours.

Beyond Lazio's internal investigation and punishment, nothing further has been confirmed by the Italian football federation (FICG).