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Football hooligans want to ban women from ‘sacred place’ in Rome stadium

Sofia Lotto Persio August 20, 2018

Lazio supporters during the serie A match between SS Lazio and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico on May 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy (Marco Rosi/Getty)

A group of hooligans supporting the Lazio football club in Italy have come under fire for declaring certain seating spots in Rome’s Olympic Stadium off-limits to female fans.

Leaflets announcing the ban on “Women, Wives and Girlfriends” were circulated on Saturday ahead of the match between Lazio and Napoli, the first of the new season.

The message refers to the Curva Nord, which is the area behind the goalpost on the northern side of the stadium—traditionally seen as the spot for the most hardcore supporters, as a “sacred place” akin to “military trenches.”

 

Lazio supporters during the serie A match between SS Lazio and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico on May 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy (Marco Rosi/Getty)

“The North represent a sacred place for us. An environment with unwritten rules to be followed. We have always experienced the first rows as a military trench.

“Within it, we do not allow Women, Wives and Girlfriends, so we invite them to sit from the tenth row onwards.

“Whomever chooses the stadium as an alternative to a carefree and romantic day at Villa Borghese, go to different sections,” the message read, bearing the signature “Diabolik Pluto Directive,” an apparent reference to the leader of Lazio’s “Irriducibili” hooligan group.

The “Irriducibili” group is infamous for displaying racist and anti-Semitic attitudes and behaviour. It has recently come under fire for using images of Holocaust victim Anne Frank as an insult against rival city team Roma.

They have repeatedly been banned from the Curva Nord due to singing racist chants during matches.

 

Pictures of the leaflets were shared on social media, among mixed, but mostly baffled, reactions.

“I can’t conceive of these things. In 2018,” writer Marco Corsini, who regularly reports on the Lazio football team, wrote sharing an image of the leaflet on Twitter.

Several women commented on how the ban denoted attitudes recalling the Middle Ages or prehistoric times.

Lazio fans celebrate during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico on May 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy (Paolo Bruno/Getty)

“We live in the Middle Ages. I can no longer tolerate these things, they are not justifiable,” Carolina Morace, the coach of the Italian women’s national football team and a former player who played and managed the Lazio women’s football team among others in her career, told newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

Morace’s team recently qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the first time the Italians will participate in 20 years.

Their male counterparts failed to quality for the 2018 Russia World Cup.

More: Europe, football, Italy, Italy, Lazio, Rome, Stadium, Women

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