Status: 05.01.2023 10:51 a.m

    Lazio Roma supporters disrupted the Serie A game with racist chants directed at US Lecce players. French world champion Samuel Umtiti was also affected.

    Another racist incident has taken place in Italian football, and once again Lazio Roma fans have been responsible.

    Wednesday’s (04/01/2023) Serie A match between US Lecce and the capital club was interrupted during the first half by referee Livio Marinelli after spotting racist shouts from Lazio fans who were attacking players Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda were addressed.

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    Banda, 21-year-old attacking player from Zambia, stayed in the dressing room at the break. According to Lecce’s president, Umtiti “asked to continue the game”. The 2018 French world champion, on loan from FC Barcelona, ​​received a standing ovation and cheering from US fans. According to Italian media, the shouts also served to drown out further racist shouts from fans who had traveled with them.

    Umtiti is said to have been close to tears at times. A photo after the game shows him delighted that Lecce turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win with him.

    Gianni Infantino, the president of the world association FIFA, spoke via Instagram on Wednesday evening. “Let’s shout it loud and clear: NO TO RACISM”he posted alongside a photo of Umtiti: “May the vast majority of fans who are good people stand up and silence all racists once and for all.”

    Racist abuse is common in Italian football, and fascist fan groups are widespread throughout the country. Lazio Ultras in particular are known for being racist.

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