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Club disowns call to ban females from ‘sacred space’ in stadium


The unofficial leaflet said the Curva Nord, where the Ultras congregate, was a 'sacred space' where women were not allowed. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The unofficial leaflet said the Curva Nord, where the Ultras congregate, was a ‘sacred space’ where women were not allowed. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Lazio football club distanced itself yesterday from some of its most hardcore supporters after some fans distributed leaflets demanding women sit or stand at the back of the Rome stadium.

Lazio’s Ultras, a group of diehard supporters often associated with the political right, handed out a letter at the gates of their ground on Saturday, saying that women should be banned from the front 10 rows of the Curva Nord terrace at the Olympic Stadium.

The notices, which said: “In the trenches, we do not allow women, wives and girlfriends”, were ridiculed on social media and condemned by a number of veteran fans, including a handful of influential Italian actors and showbiz personalities.

Yesterday the club commented for the first time. “This is an autonomous initiative by some part of the Curva Nord fans. That’s not the position of the club; we are against any discrimination,” said Lazio’s spokesman Arturo Diaconale. “Lazio fans are numerous; this is an initiative by just a few of them.”

The Lazio Ultras have a long-standing reputation for violence, racism and anti-Semitism and have long been considered politically close to neo-fascist movements. Lazio was also associated with Benito Mussolini during his reign and players wore the fascist symbol on their shirts in the 1930s.

The unofficial leaflet said the Curva Nord, where the Ultras congregate, was a “sacred space” where women were not allowed. It called for “women, wives and girlfriends” to not sit in the first 10 rows of the stand. It concluded that “those who choose the stadium as an alternative to a carefree and romantic day at the Villa Borghese [one of the main parks in Rome], should go to other parts”.

The letter was signed by “Direttivo Diabolik Pluto”, which is part of a group of Lazio Ultras known as the “Irriducibili”.

Police said yesterday they had identified through CCTV some of the fans responsible. The authors could face discrimination charges. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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Telegraph.co.uk

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