Anti-Semitic Italy Row Escalates as Small Fan Minority Refuse to Observe Holocaust Tribute

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The growing anti-Semitic crisis in Italian football has taken another unpleasant twist after fans at some stadiums failed to observe a minute's silence for Holocaust victims.

Serie A chiefs had called on all of its clubs to hold a minute's silence and read passages from Anne Frank's memoirs after Lazio ultras handed out sickening stickers mocking Jews during their home match on Sunday.

However, the BBC has reported that sections of Juventus' supporter base and those attending that Roma-Crotone clash brazenly chose not to follow the wishes of those in the corridors of power.


At the Allianz Stadium, some Juve fans turned their backs and sang the Italian national anthem during the minute's silence.

Meanwhile, the Stadio Olimpico saw Roma - ironically the target of Lazio fans last weekend - and Crotone supporters drown out the reading from Anne Frank's diary with team chants.

The events have alarmed those at the Italian Football Federation, who had hoped that their pleas would not fall on deaf ears. The vast majority of fans did observe the pre-match event, and even broke out into spontaneous applause during the minute's reflection.

It is those who broke the silence, however, who have made the headlines yet again and brought shame on Italy's footballing fanbase.

The crisis had begun when Lazio's ultra division handed out stickers with Anne Frank in a Roma shirt depicted on them alongside anti-Jewish slogans.

The authorities in Italy have opened an investigation into the incident, while Italian president Sergio Mattarella called it "alarming".

Lazio club president Claudio Lotito became further embroiled in the issue after leaked audio appeared to suggest that he was unhappy at having to visit a Roman synagogue in a show of solidarity with Italian Jews.

He is alleged to have said: "Let's just get on with this charade, shall we?" among other negative comments that will do little to quell the growing dissent among his club's fanbase.

Anne Frank is one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust after her diary was published in 1947 and offered a glimpse of what life was like as a Dutch Jew living in Nazi-occupied Holland at the time.