Fiorentina fans condemned for racist chants

Fiorentina have condemned their own Ultras after they sung repulsive chants about the 1985 Heysel Stadium disaster in which 39 Juventus supporters died.

Video footage that subsequently went viral on social media captures the moment a group of Fiorentina fans sing about the victims of the disaster at a fan festival outside their Artemio Franchi stadium on Saturday.

It comes ahead of a meeting between Fiorentina and Juventus in Serie A on Saturday afternoon.

Joe Barone, the right-hand man to Fiorentina president Rocco Commisso, was in attendance at the festival but did not hear the offensive chanting.

However, the club issued a firm statement in response to the video: From day one the president was clear: No to offensive, violent and racist chants.

‘It is regrettable that a fan scene like the Viola and specifically that of the Curva Fiesole [where the Fiorentina Ultras gather] tried to spoil what was simply a festival of our fans.’

Thirty-nine died and 600 were injured ahead of the 1985 European Cup final at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels when Liverpool supporters charged at Juventus fans, causing a crush and a wall to collapse.

All English clubs were banned for five years – and Liverpool for six years – from European competition as a result of the disaster.

It is the latest fan incident to shame Italian football this season after Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was the target of racial abuse from Cagliari fans.

In an absurd twist, Inter fans then sent an open letter to Lukaku trying to explain that the monkey chants directed at him were not racist.

‘Please consider this attitude of Italian fans as a form of respect for the fact they are afraid of you for the goals you might score against their teams and not because they hate you or they are racist,’ said a Facebook post by the Inter Curva Nord Ultras group. –Mailonline

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