Italian Jewish community condemns Lazio fans’ antisemitic chants, ‘Hitlerson’ jersey
Community president laments that, ‘as always, the only ones outraged and protesting’ are Jews; Italy’s sports minister vows to crack down on phenomenon
ROME — The Jewish community of Rome denounced on Monday alleged antisemitic behavior from Lazio fans during Sunday’s soccer derby win against Roma (1-0).
“An entire stand chanting antisemitic chants, a ‘fan’ in the stands wearing a Hitlerson jersey and the number 88, and we, as always, the only ones outraged and protesting,” wrote Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish community of Rome, on Twitter.
The post was accompanied by a photo of a supported in a Lazio shirt with “Hitlerson” as the player name on the back with the number 88, code for “Heil Hitler,” and a video of Lazio fans chanting.
“Can it be that everyone continues to pretend that nothing is happening?” she asked.
These images had been “verified,” said a spokesman for the Jewish community of Rome.
Italian Sports Minister Andrea Abodi responded by retweeting Dureghello’s post with the comment: “Impossible to pretend that nothing is happening. I will do my part, as I feel a duty to do. Respect is due and is non-negotiable!”
Una curva intera che canta cori antisemiti, un “tifoso” in tribuna con la maglia Hitlerson e il numero 88 e noi, come sempre, gli unici a indignarci e a protestare. Possibile che tutti continuino a far finta di nulla? pic.twitter.com/AL3EGejYUf
— Ruth Dureghello (@dureghello) March 20, 2023
On March 8, the Italian soccer federation announced an investigation into alleged antisemitic chants by Lazio fans during their team’s win at Napoli on March 3.
In January, the northern section of Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, home to Lazio’s ultras, was closed for a match after racist abuse by the ultras at Lecce, aimed at two black players, Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda.
The Lazio ultras have been regularly singled out for their racist or antisemitic behavior.
In 2017, they displayed an image of Anne Frank, a German-born Dutch Jewish teenager who died in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp in Germany, which they displayed wearing the jersey of rivals Roma.