If You Want To Boycott - Look At Lazio!

Last updated : 01 May 2014 By Footy Mad - Editor

Lazio fans carried out their threat to boycott the home Serie A match against Atalanta in protest at club president Claudio Lotito on Sunday, leaving their team to play in a near-deserted Stadio Olimpico.

Coach Edoardo Reja called for the supporters to settle their differences with Lotito after his team slumped to a 1-0 defeat in the mid-table battle.

'It's a real shame to see the Olimpico deserted,' Reja told reporters. 'We were in with a chance of achieving something significant but it's difficult to play in these conditions.

'We didn't play as well as we've done recently,' he added. 'This situation can't go on, it's a disadvantage for us as we've seen today.'

'We need them to come together, the two sides need to give some ground.'

One banner, which fans draped over the seats, read 'it's him or us' while another said 'Lazio is ours and we will leave it to our children.'

The supporters, led by the ultras who usually occupy the Curva Nord, have been protesting against Lotito on and off since the start of the season.

They boycotted the opening 15 minutes of a match in September in protest at the club's perceived lack of activity in the close season transfer window.

Their anger grew in January when Brazilian playmaker Hernanes was sold to Inter Milan where he has made an immediate impact.

Around 40,000 fans took part in a protest march before last month's 3-2 win against Sassuolo where more banners were displayed protesting against Lotito.

The ultras' attitude towards Lotito has been frosty ever since he bought the club in 2004 and is in stark contrast to their extremely cosy relationship with free-spending predecessor Sergio Cragnotti.

Lazio won seven trophies under Cragnotti including the Serie A title and the old European Cup Winners Cup.