Italian FA bans number 88 on players’ shirts


Italy has banned players from wearing the number 88 as part of an initiative aimed at fighting anti-Semitism in football across the country.

Members of Italy’s government and Italian Football Association (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina signed an agreement on the issue on Tuesday.

The number 88 can be a reference to a German Nazi slogan.

The agreement also allows for games to be interrupted “in the event of anti-Semitic chants, acts and expressions”.

“It is an adequate and effective response to an intolerable prejudice that still too often manifests itself in our stadiums,” said Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi.

“Anti-Semitism must be strongly fought, together with everything that excludes, despises and discriminates against every human being, every social group, every minority.

“The declaration of intent signed is only the first step of a broader strategy that will result in a new document on preventing and combating all forms of racism and discrimination in sport.”

A fan wore a Lazio shirt with 88 on the back during the team’s win against Roma in March, while two other supporters were involved in another apparent anti-Semitic incident.

Lazio said the three fans would be banned for life from attending games at Stadio Olimpico.

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