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Police identify 20 Lazio fans who put up Anne Frank images

October 27, 2017

Lazio's Marco Parolo wears a t-shirt with an image of Anne Frank and reading in Italian "No to Anti-semitism" prior to the Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Bologna at the Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. Anne Frank's diary will be read aloud at all soccer matches in Italy this week, the Italian soccer federation announced Tuesday after shocking displays of anti-Semitism by fans of the Rome club Lazio. Lazio supporters on Sunday littered the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with images of Anne Frank, the young diarist who died in the Holocaust, wearing a jersey of city rival Roma. The ultra right-wing fans of Lazio associate their Roma counterparts with being left-wing and Jewish, and had hoped to incite Roma fans, since the teams share the same stadium. (Giorgio Benvenuti/ANSA via AP)

ROME (AP) — Rome police have identified 20 Lazio fans who they say littered the Stadio Olimpico with images of Anne Frank — the young diarist who died in the Holocaust — wearing a jersey of city rival Roma.

Police used closed-circuit video footage to try to find the offenders.

Thirteen of the fans are being investigated for acts of racial discrimination “for putting up anti-Semitic material featuring offensive content which could incite racial hatred.”

Police said Friday that 13 of the fans have been banned from attending sports events in Italy — 12 of them for five years and one for eight years because that person had already served three previous such bans.

Police said six of the fans belong to the “ultras” group “Irriducibili” (which translates as “diehards.”)

A passage from Frank’s diary was read before all Italian league matches this week as part of a number of initiatives to condemn the acts of anti-Semitism and to keep alive memories of the Holocaust.

The ultra right-wing fans of Lazio associate their Roma counterparts with being left-wing and Jewish, and had hoped to incite Roma fans, since the teams share the same stadium.

Stadium cleaners found the anti-Semitic stickers on Monday.

The Italian soccer federation has also opened an investigation into the incident, which could lead to Lazio being forced to play matches behind closed doors.

It was the latest in a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents involving Lazio fans.

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