On Sunday the Rome club, Lazio, left images of Anne Frank, a teenage girl who documented her time during the Holocaust, on the floors of Stadio Olimpico. These images were discovered by the cleaning staff and were then reported to the Italian soccer federation. An announcement was made just a few days later on Tuesday by the Italian soccer federation, explaining that sections of Anne Franks diary would be read before every soccer game this week. The reason behind this decision was to help combat anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism is when someone is exhibiting a hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. People who hold such a stance are called antisemites. Antisemitism is typically considered to be a form of racism. The Rome club, Lazio, has had quite the history of racism and antisemitism, and this event is only one of many that have shown a dislike towards the Jewish population.
A moment of silence will be observed before each match begins this week, and then the entries from Anne Franks diary will be read out loud as well. Lazio and Bologna fans both watched the entries being recited in silence, and towards the end, applauded. There were a group of Lazio fans who tried to boycott the idea, but no physical altercations or violence occurred. Copies of Anne Frank’s journal entries were signed by soccer players and were also given to the mascots before the matches.
As a result of their racist actions, Lazio players may or may not have to play in an empty stadium or they will be forced to play on neutral ground. This decision will be released as soon as the Italian Soccer Federation finishes their open investigation. Until then, they’ll continue to try and combat Anti-semitism, hoping that the boycotting and hatred against Jews will end.
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