Soccer: Lazio lose appeal on stand closure for Juve racism

Ultra fans' home shut in Serie A opener against Udinese

Soccer: Lazio lose appeal on stand closure for Juve racism

Rome, August 23 - Lazio on Friday lost their appeal against a soccer judge's closure of the hard-core ultra fans' Curva Nord (North Stand) in their Serie A opener against Udinese Sunday because of monkey chants against Juventus's black players in their 4-0 loss to Juve in the Super Cup last Sunday. A lawyer for the Roman club unsuccessfully argued it could not be proven only Lazio fans were in that part of the ground, since entry there was open to all-comers for Italian soccer's season curtain-raiser. A stand closure is the minimum mandatory penalty for racist chants under new anti-racism rules issued in June. Lazio fans' were ruled to have racially abused the Serie A champs' France midfielder Paul Pogba; Angelo Ogbonna, an Italy defender of Nigerian descent; and Ghana midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah. Lazio's team included Angolan-born Belgian Under-21 international Luis Pedro Cavanda and Nigeria's Ogenyi Eddy Onazi.

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