A large number of Lazio fans are revolting against club president Claudio Lotito’s regime.
Lazio fans boycotted their team’s Serie A (Italian first division) game against Atalanta on Sunday. The mass boycott came in protest of Lazio’s perceived lack of ambition under Lotito’s stewardship.
While Lazio announced that the game’s official attendance was 33,000, anyone with working eyes or ears could tell that less than one tenth of those fans actually showed up to Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, which has a capacity of 82,307.
Some fans in attendance hung banners that read “it’s him or us” and “Lazio is ours and we will leave it to our children,” in reference to Lotito.
Eighth-placed Lazio slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat amid the eerily quiet atmosphere. After the game, Lazio head coach Edoardo Reja said the fans’ absence had a negative effect on his team’s performance.
“It’s a real shame to see the Olimpico deserted,” Reja said, according to the BBC. “We were in with a chance of achieving something significant but it’s difficult to play in these conditions.
“This situation can’t go on. It’s a disadvantage for us, as we’ve seen today.”
Lazio fans been protesting against Lotito since the start of the season, and their anger was only fueled in January when the club sold star midfielder Hernanes to Inter Milan.
While Sunday’s (de)mobilization doesn’t necessarily prove that “football without fans is nothing,” as Celtic’s legendary former manager Jock Stein once said, it showed what a strange spectacle it would be without the backdrop of fervent supporters.
See what the Stadio Olimpico looked like below.
Large photo via Twitter/@Eurosportcom_EN