In what appears to be a retaliatory reaction to Italy banning Marseille supporters from the first leg on 21st October, the French interior ministry bans Lazio fans from this Thursday’s match.
The Europa League match in Marseille on Thursday is the second leg. It follows the match in Rome from which the French supporters were banned.
The Serie A club reacted angrily to the ban. It called it “an unacceptable, gratuitous insult to all the Biancoceleste supporters and to the club itself.”
Reason for ban
The French interior ministry justified the ban due to the “recurring violent behaviour of certain groups of Lazio fans”. They also mentioned their “habit” of singing “fascist chants and making Nazi salutes.”
The club called for “clarification from the French authorities”. It also said it has “always campaigned against violent behaviour and all forms of discrimination in and outside stadiums.”
The ban not only concerns access to the Velodrome stadium or the city of Marseille. It also prohibits “any person claiming to be a supporter of Lazio or behaving as such” from entering France “from road, rail, port and airport borders.”
Lazio also called the ban itself “not surprising and in line with what was already decided by the Italian authorities in the first leg”. However, it found the “unjustifiable” reasons surprising.
Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia (FdI), called on the Italian government to take immediate action. She condemned the action by the French interior ministry as “going against all international laws on the free movement of people.”