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Tuesday Jun 27
6 hrs ago
Lazio fans display banners from the stands reading “Auschwitz is Your Homeland. The Ovens are Your Homes” during a Serie A match against AS Roma, at Rome’s Olympic stadium, on Nov. 29, 1998. Football players in Italy will be banned from wearing No. 88 on their shirts as part of an initiative combatting antisemitism announced Tuesday, June 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Plinio Lepri, File).
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ROME (AP) — Football players in Italy will be banned from wearing No. 88 on their shirts as part of an initiative combating antisemitism announced Tuesday.
The No. 88 is a numerical code for “Heil Hitler.”
In March, a fan wearing a Lazio shirt with the name “Hitlerson” and the No. 88 on it was banned for life from attending matches of the Roman club.
The initiative, which is being coordinated between the Italian government and the Italian football federation, includes the addition of a code of ethics in accordance with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
The initiative also calls for games to be suspended in case of antisemitic chants or acts — similar to the way cases of racism are supposed to be handled.
Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said the moves are “an adequate and efficient response to intolerable prejudice that too often arises in our stadiums.”
Football federation president Gabriele Gravina adds, “Soccer’s credibility, which gets hurt and damaged by discriminatory behaviour, has a direct reflection on Italian society.”
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