Lazio spokesperson questions reports of racist and antisemitic chanting
A Lazio spokesperson has said he "did not hear" antisemitc and racist chanting, following reports of it during the 4-1 Coppa Italia victory over Novara.
The topic of racism is under the spotlight in Italian football after monkey chants were aimed at Napol's Kalidou Koulibaly from Inter Milan supporters on Dec. 26.
And there were reports of Lazio supporters chanting about Rome's African population and antisemitic abuse aimed at Roma supporters -- but Arturo Diaconale has refuted this.
"I am part of the 98 percent of people who did not hear these chants," Diaconale told reporters. "I am not doubting the good faith or the hearing of those who heard them.
"But if they did happen, the club condemns any type of antisemitic or racist chanting. I believe there is a sort of psychosis which transforms minor or non-existent issues into huge situations.
"I read about the chants from some inside the stadium as if everyone had done it. We live in a time where everything becomes viral and can damage the image of the club.
"I have been told that they wrote they heard: 'Rome is like Africa,' -- I hope they don't take it out on all the Africans living in our city. Obviously, this is a joke.
"In any case, I invite everyone to give a genuine account of episodes which would normally be ignored."