Italian police and football authorities have opened an investigation against Lazio supporters after they produced stickers of Anne Frank wearing a shirt of their rivals Roma.
The images were among a host of anti-Semitic stickers and graffiti left by the club’s supporters, which were discovered at the club’s Stadio Olimpico following their game at the weekend.
Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish Community of Rome, took to twitter to voice her disgust, saying: “This is not football, this is not sport. Get anti-Semitism out of stadiums.”
Condeming the actions of the supporters, Sports Minister Luca Lotti said: “There are no justifications. These incidents must be met with disapproval, without any ifs, ands or buts.
“I’m sure that the responsible authorities will shed light on what happened and that those responsible will quickly be identified and punished.”
— Andrew Dampf (AP) (@asdampf) October 23, 2017
The northern curva end of the stadium was closed for last Sunday’s match against Cagliari- due to racist chanting during a match against Sassulol earlier this month – and as result, the club’s “ultra” fans sat in the southern end of the ground – where Roma fans sit (the clubs ground share). Stickers and photos were stuck on glass barriers and found by cleaners on Monday.
The head of the European Parliament also strongly condemned the actions of the supporters. Antonio Tajani said “using the image of Anne Frank as an insult against others is a very grave matter.”. He added: “The Jewish communities are part of our European Union. I am proud to have fellow citizens belonging to the Jewish faith, and I think that anti-Semitism must remain only a horrible experience of our past, a horrible experience of the century that has ended.”
The latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents involving Lazio supporters, “Ultra” supporters of the club held up a banner towards Roma supporters during a match between the two in 1998, which read: “Auschwitz Is Your Country; the Ovens Are Your Homes.”