Lazio to face Stuttgart without fans
Lazio will have to play their Europa League encounter against Germany's Stuttgart on March 14 in Rome without their fans after the Serie A club was punished by European football governing body Uefa for the racist behaviour of some of their supporters, Italian media reported on Wednesday.
According to reports, Uefa's disciplinary commission handed the two-match ban after a group of about 300 travelling fans made a Fascist salute during the Round of 16 game at Borussia Moenchengladbach. Uefa had not yet announced its decision on its website when the story broke in Italy.
Lazio had already been warned about the racist behaviour of their fans several times before by Uefa.
Lazio president Claudio Lotito said Uefa's punishment was disproportionate.
"Lazio did everything in its power to avoid this happening. A two-match ban, which will cause serious economic damages to the club and prevent its fans from taking part in this kind of event is absurd," said Lotito, who announced plans to appeal the decision.
Lazio, which were forced to play an Intertoto game without their fans in 2005, was also fined €40 000.