The World Jewish Congress is expressing concern about an anti-Semitic and racist outburst at a recent soccer game. The concern relates to a Europa League game between Italian team S.S. Lazio and the English the Tottenham Hotspur. The match took place Thursday night in Rome.
"The match was marred by anti-Semitic chanting, with Lazio fans chanting 'Juden Tottenham, Juden Tottenham' and unrolling a huge banner saying ‘Free Palestine’. Tottenham has a strong following from the Jewish community in North London," a press release from the World Jewish Congress says, describing the cause for concern.
"Prior to the match ten Tottenham supporters were injured, one of them seriously. One suffered injuries to an artery and is in a serious condition. They were attacked outside a pub in Rome by dozens of masked men. It remains unclear if the attackers were fans of Lazio or another Rome football club."
The Jewish group is pushing for action, should the anti-Semitism continue.
"It seems that all those expensive campaigns against racism that were run in recent years by UEFA, FIFA and others have not made a lasting impression, at least not on serial offenders such as certain supporters of Lazio.," says Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress.
"The only way to overcome this ugly phenomenon is to threaten tough consequences for clubs who don’t take their obligation seriously to keep hatemongers and racist thugs out of stadiums. This problem of racist Lazio supporters is not new, and it ought to be taken more seriously by all people concerned. Imposing fines on the clubs whose fans misbehave in such a way is obviously completely ineffective."