UEFA not opening proceedings against Lazio for fans' apparent Nazi salutes
UEFA have said they will not open disciplinary proceedings against Lazio despite their supporters appearing to perform Nazi salutes in last Thursday's 2-1 Europa League defeat to Frankfurt.
Before the match, Frankfurt supporters misbehaved in Rome's city centre as well as in the stadium, where they threw flares and cherry bombs at home fans and police, and stewards had to stop them from invading the pitch.
UEFA said they have opened disciplinary proceedings against Frankfurt for these offences, but told ESPN FC that they have not opened similar disciplinary proceedings against Lazio despite a group of their supporters being pictured by German news wire dpa apparently performing Nazi salutes in the stadium.
"There are no proceedings opened for this," UEFA told ESPN FC. "Nothing was mentioned in the match officials' reports, therefore no case has been opened."
Article 14 of UEFA's Disciplinary Regulations refers to the European football governing's body's measures against "racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda."
They specify racist behaviour as "any person who insults the human dignity of a person or a group of persons on whatever grounds, including skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin."
In a 2015 Legal Report, UEFA said when explaining a UEFA Appeals Body decision against Hungarian side Ferencvaros that "the Nazi salute is a symbol widely recognised as a reference to the Nazi era and white supremacy, it has no place at UEFA football matches."
In August 2017, UEFA launched their new "Equal Game" campaign which followed in the footsteps of the "No To Racism" campaign. At the time, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said that its aim was to ensure that "the fight against discrimination continues to be at the forefront of UEFA's visions and beliefs."
Lazio have served stadium closures for UEFA fixtures and bans for Serie A games in recent years and have frequently had problems with their far right-wing fans.