Italian police probe anti-Semitic posters aimed at Lazio and Napoli soccer clubs
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Italian police probe anti-Semitic posters aimed at Lazio and Napoli soccer clubs

AC Roma fans distribute leaflets in Rome saying ‘Lazio, Napoli and Israel, same colors, same flags. S**t’

Anti riot police during a Europa League, Group H soccer match between Lazio and Eintracht Frankfurt at Rome's Olympic stadium, December 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Anti riot police during a Europa League, Group H soccer match between Lazio and Eintracht Frankfurt at Rome's Olympic stadium, December 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

MILAN, Italy — Italian police are investigating after supporters of the AS Roma soccer club allegedly distributed anti-Semitic leaflets in the north of the city on Wednesday to coincide with the anniversary of bitter city rivals Lazio.

The leaflets, signed by a group of Roma ultras, were posted overnight in the area where Lazio supporters gathered to celebrate the team’s 119th anniversary.

The text of the flyers read: “Lazio, Napoli and Israel, same colors, same flags. S**t.”

It comes just over a year after Lazio ultras posted anti-Semitic stickers depicting Holocaust victim Anne Frank in a Roma jersey in the Stadio Olimpico.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi condemned the incident on Wednesday.

“I firmly condemned the anti-Semitic posters which appeared in Rome,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Soccer can not be division and intolerance.”

Raggi also denounced earlier clashes with Lazio supporters that left at least ten police officers injured.

“Unacceptable violence against police officers by ultras. Rome can not become a theater for the madness of some criminals.”

The skirmishes took place at Piazza della Liberta where up to 2,500 Lazio fans gathered late Tuesday at the spot of the club’s foundation.

The gathering had also been attended by the club’s president Claudio Lotito who addressed the crowd but left before tensions mounted.

Shortly after midnight, an estimated 300 fans, with their faces covered, broke away from the main group and began throwing bottles and other objects at police, who responded with tear gas and water cannons.

Tensions are running high in Italy after violence before Inter Milan’s league game against Napoli on December 26 in the San Siro stadium, which was also overshadowed by racist chanting.

A 39-year-old Inter Milan fan was killed after being struck by a car.

There were also clashes in the Italian capital before Lazio’s Europa League game against German club Eintracht Frankfurt last month.

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