Lazio issue statement on Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda racial abuse

Football once again showed its ugly side on Wednesday night when Lazio fans directed racial abuse at Leece pair Samuel Umtiti and his teammate Lameck Banda. The fixture was halted due to the racial abuse, Umtiti requested the game continue as Leece President Saverio Sticchi Damiani revealed, as he wanted to shut up the chants with his performance.

Umtiti did just that, as Leece eventually came from behind to win the game 2-1, however the final whistle saw the 2018 World Cup winner Umtiti depart the field in tears due to the abusive chants he experienced.

On Thursday afternoon following the events of the night before, Lazio released a statement in which the club condemned the actions which a minority of supporters conducted.

“Lazio has always opposed all forms of racism and discrimination with all the means available, putting in place initiatives aimed at repressing these phenomena, making its fans aware of this issue and acting in the appropriate offices to protect its image.”

The official statement from Lazio added that the club would fully collaborate with authorities, and emphasised that Lazio fans are not racist and cannot be associated with the few individuals who damage the clubs image.

This statement follows support from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who posted on Instagram to emphasise the message that racism has no place in football.

Jonathan Maze | GIFN

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