Fans of Italy’s S.S. Lazio soccer club caused a storm when they distributed hundreds of stickers of Anne Frank wearing the uniform of Lazio’s rivals Roma. As a result, the Italian Football Association decided before each game this week, a moment of silence will be held and passages from Frank’s diary will be read.
The sticker distributed at the field Photo Credit: Italian television/Channel 2 News
After fans of Italy’s S.S. Lazio soccer club distributed hundreds of stickers this Sunday with a picture of Anne Frank dressed in the uniform of Lazio’s rivals Roma, the Italian Football Association announced today (Tuesday) that a moment of silence will be held and passages from Frank’s diary will be read prior to each game this week. The anti-Semitic act led to much outrage inside the sports world and outside of it.
However, this is not the first incident in which Lazio fans were involved in an act of anti-Semitism. During a prior match against Roma, Lazio fans held a sign that read: “Auschwitz is your homeland, the crematoriums are your home.”
The Italian Prime Minister condemned the hateful act calling it “shocking,” while the European Parliament President said that acts of this kind cannot become commonplace. The piercing criticism against the team did end up leading to a few positive changes. S.S. Lazio President Claudio Lotito visited a synagogue in Rome meeting with local officials within the Jewish community and announced that the team will be placing Frank’s image on the team’s jerseys for tomorrow’s game. Furthermore, Lotito has committed to organize an annual trip to Auschwitz with the team’s players, staff and 200 young fans in order to educate about the horrors of the Holocaust.
“I was shocked to see the despicable use made by the Lazio soccer club’s fans of Anne Frank’s picture – a Jewish Dutch girl who was murdered during the Holocaust,” wrote Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev to her Italian counterpart Luca Lotti.