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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lazio stadium ban for racist chanting

Lazio will have to play Apollon Limassol in an empty stadium next month after the club was again punished by UEFA for a number of offences including racist chanting.

The Serie A club, who sit second in Group J, have been handed a stadium ban for the third time in 2013, and also been fined 40,000 euros, following an investigation into incidents during the Italian club's 1-0 win against Legia Warsaw on September 19 in Rome.

They were sanctioned four times last season for racist chanting and forced to play their Europa League last-16 and quarter-final home ties against Stuttgart and Fenerbahce behind closed doors.

"The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA," a UEFA statement read. "The European governing body has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.

"Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on 1 June, the fight against racist conduct has been stepped up a level - resulting in more severe sanctions to deter any such behaviour."

Lazio have three days to lodge an appeal.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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