Rome’s Jewish community slams anti-Semitic chants at derby.
The football fan immortalised at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday wearing the ‘Hitlerson’ shirt with the number 88, a reference to the Nazi salute, has been identified by police.
The German man, described as “a Lazio sympathiser” in Italian news reports, was tracked down thanks to video footage from the derby match which saw Lazio beat AS Roma 1-0.
He was identified along with two other men who made stiff-armed salutes during the game, the Polizia di Stato said on Wednesday. Local media report that these two men are Romanian.
#22marzo Identificato dalla #PoliziadiStato l’uomo di nazionalità tedesca che nel derby #LazioRoma di domenica scorsa ha indossato la maglietta con scritta “Hitlerson 88”. Individuati anche altri 2 uomini che hanno effettuato il “saluto romano” durante la partita.#essercisempre pic.twitter.com/e881pkG0x6— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) March 22, 2023
Ruth Dureghello, president of Rome’s Jewish community, on Monday condemned the anti-Semitic chants from some Lazio supporters during the derby.
“A whole curve singing anti-Semitic chants, a ‘fan’ in the stands with the Hitlerson shirt and the number 88 and we, as always, are the only ones to get indignant and protest” – Dureghello wrote on Twitter – “Is it possible that everyone continues to turn a blind eye?”
Una curva intera che canta cori antisemiti, un “tifoso” in tribuna con la maglia Hitlerson e il numero 88 e noi, come sempre, gli unici a indignarci e a protestare. Possibile che tutti continuino a far finta di nulla? pic.twitter.com/AL3EGejYUf— Ruth Dureghello (@dureghello) March 20, 2023
Italy’s sports minister Andrea Abodi replied to Dureghello’s tweet, writing: “Impossible to pretend nothing happened. I will do my part, as I feel obliged to do. Respect is due and not negotiable!”
In a statement on Tuesday, Lazio dissociated itself from “any illegal and anachronistic behviour of this type” and stressed that the club is “at the forefront, especially under the current presidency, in publicly condemning, preventing and unreservedly repressing any discriminatory, racist or anti-Semitic demonstration or action”.