Lazio defend Hysaj

Lazio defend their player Elseid Hysaj after that ultras had called him ‘a a worm’ declaring that their club ‘is fascist.’

Hysaj joined the Biancocelesti as a free agent from Napoli, but the choice for his initiation song left many Lazio ultras fuming due to their far-right ideology.

The Albania international sang ‘Bella Ciao’, which was adopted as an anthem of the anti-fascist resistance by the Italian partisans between 1943 and 1945.

Lazio fans confronted the Albania captain and a banner signed by the Biancocelesti ultras appeared on a bridge in Rome on Monday: ‘Hysaj is a worm, Lazio is fascist.’

Lazio hit back at their ultras with an official statement published on their website.

“The club strongly condemns the shameful banner against Elseid Hysaj. It’s not the first time a similar episode happens,” the statement reads.

“We will never be on the side of those who deny the values of sport. We support our athletes and all the players involved in the pre-season retreat.

“We strongly distance ourselves from those who want to exploit this story for political purposes, damaging the team, all Lazio fans and the club.

“We will not be intimidated by those who use violent and aggressive tones. For them, there is no space in our world, which is inspired by the sporting values of loyalty competition and mutual respect, aiming at overcoming all the social, cultural, economic and ethnic barriers.”