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Old 30th October 2017, 12:13   #1
TanyaT
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Default Anne Frank diary to be read at Serie A games after Lazio fans’ antisemitism

Anne Frank diary to be read at Serie A games after Lazio fans’ antisemitism

• Antisemitic stickers and graffiti plastered around Stadio Olimpico
• Lazio president says club will play with Frank’s image on their shirts

Ed Aarons
The Guardian
Tuesday 24 October 2017 22.05 BST


The Italian football federation (FICG) has announced plans to read out a passage from Anne Frank’s diary before matches this week in response to acts of antisemitism by Lazio fans.

During Sunday’s league game against Cagliari, supporters of the club defaced their Stadio Olimpico home in Rome with antisemitic graffiti and stickers showing images of Frank, the teenager who was killed at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, wearing a jersey of their rivals Roma. Their actions have been widely condemned, with Lazio’s president, Claudio Lotito paying a visit to Rome’s main synagogue on Tuesday to lay a wreath to remember victims of the Holocaust.

He also promised a new education campaign culminating in an annual trip to Auschwitz with 200 young fans at a club which has a history of antisemitic behaviour, including a Lazio banner in the city derby nearly 20 years ago aimed at Roma supporters that read: “Auschwitz Is Your Homeland; The Ovens Are Your Homes.”

An image of Frank will be put on Lazio’s shirts for Wednesday’s game at Bologna, the club said, to demonstrate their fight against “all forms of racism and antisemitism”. The FIGC also said a minute of silence will be observed before Serie A, B and C matches this week, plus amateur and youth games over the weekend, with a passage from Frank’s diary entry on 15 July, 1944 being read out over loudspeakers.

It reads: “I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquillity will return once more.”

A statement from Anne Frank House, one of Amsterdam’s most visited tourist sites, condemned the Lazio supporters’ attitudes but welcomed the response since Sunday’s match.

“We are shocked by these anti-Jewish expressions, which are extremely painful to those who have experienced the consequences of the Jewish persecution,” they said in a statement. Fighting football-related antisemitism is part of our educational activities. We are pleased to see that others, including Italian football clubs, have expressed their indignation about this action.”

The head of the European Parliament has also denounced Lazio fans’ behaviour. Antonio Tajani, who is also Italian, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that “using the image of Anne Frank as an insult against others is a very grave matter”.

The Italian prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said the stickers were “unbelievable, unacceptable and to not be minimised”.

A statement on Lazio’s website outlined the plans to place Frank’s image on the club’s shirts.

“The president of SS Lazio, Claudio Lotito, has decided that tomorrow the team will be coming to the stadium at Renato Dall’Ara Stadium in Bologna with an image of Anne Frank on the Biancoceleste shirt, demonstrating the club’s commitment to fighting all forms of racism and anti-Semitism,” it said.

Lotito announced the Auschwitz trip initiative in comments reported by Gazzetta dello Sport: “Today, I can officially announce that Lazio will partake in a new initiative, organising an annual trip to Auschwitz for 200 Lazio fans to educate and make sure we don’t forget certain episodes, so that these lads can know what it is we’re talking about.

“You can’t play around with these facts, we condemn all forms of racism. Lazio will launch this initiative.”


https://www.theguardian.com/football...e-a?CMP=twt_gu
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