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Italian Soccer Club President Calls Synagogue Visit A ‘Charade’

(JTA) — Soccer fans prior to two matches in Italy protested during the reading of a passage from the “Diary of Anne Frank.”

Meanwhile, the president of the Lazio soccer team reportedly was heard on tape calling his visit to a Rome synagogue “a charade” and, referring to Jews, saying “These people don’t count a damn.”

The decision to hold a moment of silence and read from the diary at professional, amateur and youth soccer matches was announced Tuesday, days after Lazio fans plastered a shared stadium with stickers showing the teenage Holocaust diarist wearing the uniform of a rival city club, Roma.

On Wednesday, Lazio players warmed up wearing jerseys with an image of Anne Frank and the words “No to anti-Semitism.” But fans of the Turin squad Juventus turned their backs and sang the country’s national anthem during the reading as a protest.

At a game between Roma and the Calabria-based Crotone, fans shouted team chants during the readings at the same stadium where the stickers were displayed, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, Lazio President Claudio Lotito is denying that it was his voice on a recording mocking the synagogue visit in the wake of the poster incident. On Tuesday, he laid a wreath of blue and white flowers there and announced he would take 200 fans every year to visit Auschwitz.

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Italian Soccer Club President Calls Synagogue Visit A ‘Charade’

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