UEFA relax punishment on Lazio fans over racism charge

Zurich: Lazio won a partial reprieve from UEFA on Wednesday but were still ordered to close part of their ground for their next home Europa League game as punishment for fans` behaviour at the Stadio Olimpico.

UEFA said they had "partially admitted" Lazio`s appeal against a charge of racist chanting during their Europa League game against Legia Warsaw on September 19.

The governing body had originally ordered the Serie A club to play their next home Europa League match behind closed doors, but UEFA`s appeals body has now decided only the Curva Nord should be shut to supporters for the visit of Cypriot side Apollon Limassol on November 7.

Lazio were also fined 40,000 euros for a host of offences during the Legia game, including displaying an inappropriate banner, igniting fireworks and a late kick-off.

The sanction against the Curva Nord is the latest in a string of incidents involving Lazio fans, who have a reputation for extreme right-wing politics.

The notorious Curva Nord section was closed for the Serie A match against Udinese in August after fans racially abused Juventus players during their 4-0 defeat in the Italian Super Cup.

Last season, the club was forced to play two home matches behind closed doors in the Europa League after their fans racially insulted Borussia Moenchengladbach players.

There were also violent clashes before their home match against Tottenham Hotspur when home fans engaged in anti-Semitic abuse and fascist salutes because of the English club`s historic links to London`s Jewish community.

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