Football: Lazio hit with stand closure for Celtic Europa League game over fans' 'racist behaviour'

Lazio's Danilo Cataldi (in blue) in action during a match against French club Rennes on Oct 3, 2019. Lazio was charged after some of their supporters made fascist salutes in the Curva Nord section during the match.
Lazio's Danilo Cataldi (in blue) in action during a match against French club Rennes on Oct 3, 2019. Lazio was charged after some of their supporters made fascist salutes in the Curva Nord section during the match.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MILAN (AFP) - Italian Serie A football club Lazio have been hit with a partial stadium closure for their next Europa League home match against Celtic for "racist behaviour" by fans against Rennes, Uefa confirmed on Wednesday (Oct 16).

The Roman side have been ordered to close four sections of the Stadio Olimpico, which make up the Curva Nord (North Stand), for the Group E game against the Scottish champions on Nov 7.

Lazio had been charged after some of their supporters made fascist salutes in the Curva Nord section during the 2-1 home win over French club Rennes on Oct 3.

Lazio have also been fined €20,000 (S$30,280) by European football's governing body which has called for football to launch a war on racism.

A suspended sentence of playing one match behind closed doors was also handed down while Lazio must display a banner with the wording #EqualGame, with the Uefa logo on it.

On Tuesday, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said football needed to 'wage war' on racism, after Bulgaria's football union chief resigned following racist incidents at England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia the previous day.

Lazio released a statement before the announcement protesting against the "deeply damaging" ruling.

"The decisions constitute a heavy penalty that seems not to have taken into account the clear condemnation from the Biancocelesti club against the odious racist behaviour of a few irresponsible people," the club said.

The statement added that the club "reaffirms its intention to prosecute criminally and civilly those responsible for unacceptable behaviour".