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 By Ben Gladwell

Kevin Strootman urges Italian FA to act on racist chants by Lazio fans

Roma defender Antonio Rudiger was the subject of racist chants on Wednesday, says Kevin Strootman.

Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman hopes the Italian FA will intervene after racist chants were heard being made by Lazio fans at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night.

Roma defender Antonio Rudiger was subjected to monkey noises during the Coppa Italia semifinal which the Biancocelesti won 2-0.

These emanated from the Curva Nord, where Lazio's hardcore fans are located, and several announcements were made over the public address system warning them that the game could be stopped if they continued.

Strootman said he and the players on the field were able to hear the chants, and condemned the Lazio fans for continuing.

"Yes, I heard them too," Strootman told RAI television. "It's always disgusting. Rudiger has not said anything, but certainly this is something the federation needs to answer to.

"We just have to do our jobs. Sadly people do this from time to time. But I think there were only a few of them, not many."

Earlier this season, Lazio's Serie A fixture with Napoli was halted for a few minutes as the referee asked for an announcement to be made after Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly became the target of racial insults by home fans.

Lazio's fans have already been punished numerous times for racist behaviour.

In 2013, they were charged four times by UEFA for racist offences during their Europa League fixtures with Tottenham Hotspur (home and away), Maribor and Borussia Monchengladbach, and they were forced to play two European games behind closed doors.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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