Europa League: Italian club Lazio hit with stand closure for Celtic game over 'racist behaviour' by fans against Rennes

Agence France-Presse

Milan: Italian 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.

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

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 3 October. Lazio have also been fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) 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 prior to the announcement protesting 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".

Also See: Europa League: Italian side Lazio vow to identify, take action against fans behind racist chants against Rennes

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: UEFA opens probe into Turkey players' military salute, Bulgaria fans' racism against England

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: English FA condemn 'abhorrent' racist abuse in Bulgaria

Read more on Sports by Firstpost.