Italian Serie A side Lazio will play its next UEFA Europa League home match next Thursday before an empty stadium at the 72 698-seater Stadio Olympico after its fans racially abused Zimbabwe international defender Costa Nhamoinesu during a UEFA Europa League match in Prague on March 10 last year.
The referee was forced to briefly stop the match which ended 1-1 in the first half because of the racist abuse which was being targeted at Nhamoinesu by some of the Lazio fans. The referee ordered the public announcer to broadcast a warning to some of the visiting fans warning them of the dangers of targeting Nhamoinesu with the racial abuse. Sparta Prague won the return leg in Italy 3-0 to dump Lazio out of the Europa League.
UEFA’s sanctions were that Lazio would play their next two home European club matches before an empty stadium and the Italian giants finished fifth in Serie A to qualify automatically for the group stages of this season’s Europa League. Their home match against Belgian side Zulte Waregem on September 28 was played behind closed doors. They won the match 2-0. Their next home match in the Europa League is against French side Nice next Thursday and will be played before an empty stadium.
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