The Latest: Anne Frank passage to be read before matches
ROME (AP) — The Latest on the dispute over racist and anti-Semitic actions by fans of Italian soccer club (all times local):
The Italian soccer federation says a passage from Anne Frank’s diary will be read before matches this week to condemn the acts of anti-Semitism by Lazio fans and to keep alive memories of the Holocaust.
The FIGC also says a minute of silence will be observed before Serie A, B and C matches this week, plus amateur and youth games over the weekend.
Lazio fans earlier this week littered the Stadio Olimpico with images of Frank — the young diarist who died in the Holocaust — wearing a jersey of city rival Roma.
The diary passage reads: “I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”
The head of the European Parliament is strongly denouncing Italian football hooligans who used Anne Frank’s image to offend the fans of an opposing team, saying anti-Semitism has no place in Europe today.
Lazio fans plastered anti-Semitic stickers and graffiti at a Rome stadium that included images of Frank, the young diarist who died in the Holocaust, wearing a jersey of the rival Roma team. It was the latest in a long line of racist or anti-Semitic incidents involving Lazio supporters.
Antonio Tajani, himself Italian, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, that “using the image of Anne Frank as an insult against others is a very grave matter.”
Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni says it’s wrong to underestimate the risk posed by fans of Lazio’s soccer team, who plastered Rome’s stadium with stickers of Anne Frank wearing the jersey of crosstown rival Roma.
Gentiloni said Tuesday the stickers were “unbelievable, unacceptable and to not be minimized.”
The stickers were plastered around the Stadio Olimpico during Sunday’s Serie A game against Cagliari.
Lazio’s president Claudio Lotito has visited Rome’s main synagogue and promised a new anti-Semitism education campaign.
The president of Lazio soccer club has visited Rome’s main synagogue and promised a new anti-Semitism education campaign after fans plastered Rome’s stadium with stickers of Anne Frank wearing crosstown rival Roma’s jersey.
Lazio president Claudio Lotito sought Tuesday to disassociate the club from the hard-core ultra fans who plastered the stickers around the Stadio Olimpico during Sunday’s Serie A game against Cagliari.
Lotito said the club would be intensifying its efforts to combat racism and anti-Semitism and announced Lazio would organize an annual trip to the Auschwitz concentration camp with some 200 young fans to “educate them not to forget.”
Lazio fans have a history of racist and anti-Semitic behavior, including a Lazio banner in the intra-city derby nearly 20 years ago aimed at Roma supporters that read: “Auschwitz Is Your Homeland; The Ovens Are Your Homes.”