Lazio fans boycott Atalanta game in protest

Thousands of Lazio fans stayed away from Sunday's home game with Atalanta in protest at club president Claudio Lotito.

Anger has grown amid supporters in the direction of Lotito and matters came to a head on Sunday when Lazio fell to a 1-0 defeat in front of a virtually empty stadium, with one banner reading: "It's him or us."

Lotito is often accused of a lack of ambition by Lazio supporters, though the club owner has countered those claims by pointing to a reduction in their debt.

Star player Hernanes was sold to inter in the January transfer window, with fan protests in recent weeks preceding Sunday's no-show.

Head coach Edy Reja spoke out after the game to say that the situation made it all the harder for his side to perform well, with Lazio currently in eighth spot, six points adrift of a UEFA Europa League qualification berth.

"It's a real shame to see the Olimpico deserted," he told Rai Sport.

"We were in the running to reach important places in the league, but it's difficult to play in these conditions.

"We need to get closer to each other and let go of the past. Solutions can be found and this situation is damaging the club.

"It's a real shame, because we have fought back after a difficult start to the campaign. This was a decisive step for us, but it went badly."


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