A group of Lazio fans have said that women should not be allowed in the Curva Nord section of the Italian football club’s Stadio Olimpico home ground as it is a “sacred space”.
The hardcore section of supporters, known as the ultras, believes women should be positioned at least 10 rows back in the stadium.
Prior to Saturday’s season-opening match against Napoli, a flyer was distributed among fans of the Rome-based club to spread word of the ultras’ views. “The Curva Nord represents for us a sacred space, an environment with an unwritten code to be respected,” the flyer read.
“The first few rows, as always, have been experienced like the trenches. In the trenches, we do not allow women, wives and girlfriends, so we invite them to position themselves from the 10th row back.
“Those who choose the stadium as an alternative to a carefree and romantic day in (Rome’s) Villa Borghese should go to other sections.”
Lazio insisted that it was not aware that the flyer would be distributed and the campaign was carried out by a small group of supporters. Club spokesman Arturo Diaconale said, according to the BBC: “We didn’t know anything about this (flyer), it was an independent initiative by some of the Curva Nord fans.
“It’s not the position of society… There is a huge number of Lazio fans, whereas this is an initiative from a few fans. We cannot always intervene to prevent politically incorrect demonstrations like this one.”
Lazio shares the Stadio Olimpico with cross-city rival AS Roma. Last season, some Lazio fans distributed stickers of Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing a Roma shirt around the stadium. The stickers featured anti-Semitic messages and Lazio was subsequently fined €50,000.