Sexist Lazio ultras who warned women to stay away now under investigation by police and Italian FA

Sexist Lazio ultras who warned women to stay away now under investigation by police and Italian FA

January 28, 2022

SEXIST Lazio ultras are under investigation by police and the Italian FA after warning female supporters to avoid the front ten rows of the Curva Nord.

Two suspects have been identified by police and the case has been referred to prosecutors for potential anti-discrimination law breaches.

Former Lazio and Italy women's national team striker Carolina Morace was appalled that sexism still existed in Italian football.

She said to news agency Ansa: "We are [back] to the middle ages. I hope these people will be banned from the stadium."

Die-hard fans distributed unofficial flyers warning "women, wives and girlfriends" to stay out of the front ten rows for the Serie A curtain-raiser between Lazio and Napoli on Saturday.

The leaflet read: "The Curva Nord represents for us a sacred space, an environment code to be respected. The first few rows, as always, have been experienced like the trenches.

"In the trenches, we do not allow women, wives and girlfriends, so we invite to them to position themselves from the tenth row back."

Luisa Rizzitelli, President of Italy-based Assist Female Athletes Association, said: "It is incredible that, in 2018, someone still dreams of being able to decide something like this: at the stadium we sit where we want."

Sexism in Italy, both in football and the wider community, has been a problem for many years, ranking 82nd of 144 countries in a gender equality report by the World Economic Forum in 2017.

According to national statistics agency ISTAT, almost 50 per cent of women in Italy has experienced sexual harassment.

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Sexism in football and the wider community in Italy continues to be a problem with almost one in two women experiencing sexual harassmentCredit: AP:Associated Press

Lazio club spokesman Arturo Diaconale said after the 2-1 defeat to last season's runners-up Napoli: "It is not the position of the club, we are against any discrimination.

"Moreover, there is an enormous number of Lazio fans, this instead is an initiative from a few fans.

"We can't always intervene to avoid politically incorrect displays like this."

The club were fined £44,816 last season when fans handed out images of Anne Frank wearing a Roma shirt with anti-Semitic messages.

Barcelona's first mixed-sex pre-season tour was criticised this summer when the male players flew business class but the female players were booked on to economy class.

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