Lazio have been fined €20,000 ($22k) for racist chanting aimed at Brescia forward Mario Balotelli from the club’s supporters, but avoided heavier punishment for cooperating in the investigation to identify the individuals involved.
Following Brescia’s 2-1 home defeat to Lazio on Sunday, Balotelli posted a video clip of the match on Instagram with the caption: “Is a lost that hurt but we will come back stronger and we are on the right way! Lazio fans that were today at the stadium SHAME ON YOU!”
A Serie A statement explaining Lazio’s fine read: “In the 21st and 29th minutes of the first half, fans aimed a racist and discriminatory chants at an opposition player, as well as an insulting chant in the 21st, 29th and 42nd minute of the first half, which led the match referee to stop the game on 30 minutes.”
However, the report adds that, following Lazio’s collaboration, no further action was required.
Lazio have been at the centre of various incidents of racism in the past few seasons.
Earlier this campaign, they were handed a partial stadium closure by UEFA following racist chanting during a Europa League tie against Rennes.
Last season, they were handed a suspended stadium closure after racist abuse aimed at then Milan central midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko during a Coppa Italia semifinal clash, which Lazio had refused to condemn in the aftermath of the game.
This is the third high-profile incident of racist abuse suffered by Balotelli this season. He was the victim of abuse at Verona, who were initially hit with a stadium ban, before the ruling was overturned.
Later, Brescia president Massimo Cellino was criticised after he made a joke that Balotelli’s issues are down to the fact he “is black.”
Meanwhile, fellow Serie A side SPAL were also fined €10,000 ($11k) for discriminatory chanting aimed at the referee, as well as fruit peel thrown, which hit the match official but “caused no damage.”