France bans Lazio fans from Marseille match

Rome-based club slams "gratituitous insult" to its fanbase.

Lazio fans have been banned from attending the Europa League match at Marseille on Thursday following a decision by the French interior ministry.

The move, which mirrors an Italian order barring Marseille fans from attending the first leg in Rome on 21 October, has been met with an angry response from the Italian Serie A club.

The ban not only concerns access to the Velodrome stadium or the southern French city of Marseille but also prohibits “any person claiming to be a supporter of Lazio or behaving as such” from entering France "from road, rail, port and airport borders."

France's interior ministry justified the ban because of the "recurring violent behaviour of certain groups of Lazio supporters" and their "habit" of singing "fascist chants and making Nazi salutes."

In a statement, Lazio slammed the decision to ban its fans from travelling to the match as "an unacceptable, gratuitous insult to all the Biancoceleste supporters and to the club itself."

Calling for "clarification from the French authorities", the club underlined that it has "always campaigned against violent behaviour and all forms of discrimination in and outside stadiums."

Lazio also said that the ban itself is "not surprising and is in line with what has already been decided by the Italian authorities in the first leg,” before identifying the "unjustifiable" reasons as being a cause of surprise.

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Fratelli d'Italia (FdI), called on the Italian government to take immediate action to prevent the "unjustified discrimination" caused by the French interior ministry order, which she condemned as "going against all international laws on the free movement of people."