Passage from Anne Frank's diary to be read to fans before Italian league matches

A section of Anne Frank's diary will be read aloud before all Italian league matches this week in response to recent episodes of anti-semitism, the Italian Football Federation has announced.

The readings will take place in the centre circle before all midweek Serie A, Serie B and Serie C matches, and before amateur and youth matches at the weekend.

Anne Frank

A statement said: "The FIGC, in agreement with the Minister for Sport and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) has decided to take a minute's reflection on all football pitches to condemn recent episodes of anti-Semitism and to continue to cultivate memories of the Holocaust, and the commitment of civil society, especially young people, so that every sporting environment is a place that transmits strong values."

The move comes after Lazio fans left stickers around the Stadio Olimpico of Frank, a German-born Jew who was killed in the Second World War, wearing a Roma shirt after a match on Sunday.

The selected passage of Frank's diary reads: "I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more."

Lazio announced that their players would wear an image of Frank when they face Bologna away from home on Wednesday night.

"The president of SS Lazio, Claudio Lotito, has decided that tomorrow the team will be coming to the stadium at Renato Dall'Ara Stadium in Bologna with an image of Anne Frank on the Biancoceleste shirt, demonstrating the club's commitment to fighting all forms of racism and anti-Semitism," said a statement on the club's website.

Additionally, Lotito said he would organise an annual trip to the former concentration camp at Auschwitz to teach Lazio fans about the horrors of the holocaust.

In comments reported by Gazzetta dello Sport, Lotito said: "Today, I can officially announce that Lazio will partake in a new initiative, organising an annual trip to Auschwitz for 200 Lazio fans to educate and make sure we don't forget certain episodes, so that these lads can know what it is we're talking about."

"You can't play around with these facts, we condemn all forms of racism. Lazio will launch this initiative."


 

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