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Celtic’s Europa League clash with Lazio was marred by fascist salutes and racist chanting from Lazio supporters before the game on Thursday.
Away fans marched through Glasgow city centre with a large number of police officers escorting them towards the stadium ahead of the game. The chanting continued during the match itself, which Celtic won 2-1.
The incident was filmed and posted to social media, with Lazio supporters walking through Buchanan Street while raising their arms in the air in a Roman salute. In total, around 1,500 Lazio fans travelled to Scotland for the game.
During the match, Celtic fans unfurled a banner depicting Italy’s former fascist dictator Benito Mussolini – a fierce Lazio fan – after his execution, with the words “follow your leader”.
It’s not the first time Lazio fans have been in trouble for related incidents. The club’s far-right supporter groups made similar gestures in their last Europa League game against Rennes.
Ahead of their match in Scotland, Lazio chief executive Nicolo D'Angelo had pleaded with fans to behave themselves. He said: “We have given lots of information to our supporters. We couldn't be more clear.
“Unfortunately, we still have a minority of fans who believe it's acceptable to give the Roman Salute and to make racist comments.
“This is unacceptable and no longer tolerable. We want there to be a healthy relationship with the fans, not this relationship, which has been spoiled for so many years.”
"We have repeatedly told them we have zero tolerance for this behaviour. The image of Lazio abroad is very important to us. It counts a lot to us. Our credibility is on the line.”
READ MORE: The racist incidents shaming football
In August of this year, Fabrizio Piscitelli, a leading member of Lazio’s Irriducibili (irreducible) ultra group was shot dead.
Piscitelli, known as ‘Diabolik’, had been an orchestrator of a number of racist acts in his role for the group. In April, The Irriducibili paid tribute to Benito Mussolini before a match with AC Milan in which two opposing players were also racially abused throughout the match.
In 2017, they covered the Olympic Stadium in Rome with stickers of Anne Frank in a Roma (their rivals) shirt alongside antisemitc messages. As a result the club was fined €50,000 and 13 fans received stadium bans.
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