Lazio fans have frequently come under fire for allegations of racist chanting and for praising fascism during matches. The club management has been struggling for years to crack down on such conduct.
The video, posted on social media, showed Bernabe in front of a group of Lazio fans and singing the words “duce, duce” (Mussolini’s nickname) with them after last Saturday’s victory against Inter.
Juan Bernabè, the eagle trainer who works at Lazio, was filmed giving the fascist salute to fans at the Olímpico an… https://t.co/D1fEsjwLLi
— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) 1634726825000
“Action was taken … for the immediate suspension of the person concerned from the service and for the possible termination of existing contracts,” with the company Bernabe works for, Lazio said in a statement.
Bernabe is the instructor of Olimpia, the white headed eagle Lazio adopted in 2010. Olimpia’s flight over Rome’s Olympic Stadium before home matches has become a symbolic moment for fans.
The video has sparked outrage among Italian Jewish communities. Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of the Italian Jewish communities, has urged the Italian football federation (FIGC) to get fascists out of the game to avoid their hatred “spreading from the pitch to every square” of the country.
Political extremism and racist abuses are an issue for the Italian top-flight Serie A, where a number of Black players have reportedly being insulted during matches.
Following several incidents of racism at the start of this season, FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has said racist fans must be identified and banned from stadiums for life.