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By ESPN Staff

Roma punished for neo-Nazi banners

ROME, Jan 31 (Reuters) - AS Roma have been ordered to play their next home match at a neutral venue behind closed doors after their fans held up banners with neo-Nazi and anti-semitic slogans during a 3-0 win over Livorno in Serie A at the weekend.

The punishment, handed down by the Italian Football League's disciplinary committee on Tuesday, will affect Roma's game against Cagliari on Feb. 8.

It is the second time in the past two years that Roma have been ordered to play in an empty stadium because of the behaviour of their supporters.

Last season they played their last two Champions League group stage matches behind closed doors after Swedish referee Anders Frisk was hit by a coin thrown from the stands during their opening game at the Olympic Stadium against Dynamo Kiev.

The latest incident, however, is one of a series that have tarnished the image of Italian football this season.

Lazio striker Paolo Di Canio has twice been handed fines and one-match bans for making fascist salutes at the end of Serie A games against Livorno and Juventus last month.

In November Messina's Ivorian midfielder Mark Zoro threatened to walk off the pitch after he was racially abused by Inter fans.