Serie A and Lazio FC announced they’ll be taking measures to counter anti-semitism at soccer matches. This decision was spurred by an incident this weekend in which Lazio supporters “defaced their Stadio Olimpico home in Rome with anti-Semitic graffiti and stickers showing images of [Anne] Frank ... wearing a jersey of their city rival Roma,” according to the Guardian.
This isn’t the first time Lazio fans have used anti-Semitism to harass their opponents. From the Guardian:
Lazio fans have a history of racist and 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.”
The Italian football federation said in a statement that a passage of Anne Frank’s diary will be read before matches this week and a that a moment of silence will be observed before every match this week and before youth matches this weekend.
Lazio FC also said in a statement that players would be wearing shirts bearing Frank’s face before their match tomorrow:
“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.”
In a video on Gazetta dello Sport, Lotito also announced a plan to take young Lazio fans on a trip to Auschwitz with the hopes of educating them about the Holocaust. As translated by Football Italia, he said:
“Today I can officially announce that Lazio will partake in a new annual 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.”
Meanwhile, another Serie A team, Cagliari, announced the moment of silence by tweeting a picture of Anne Frank photoshopped into a Cagliari jersey: