Juventus fined for racist chants

ROME - Juventus have been fined 10,000 euros after their fans sang racist chants and let off fireworks in Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by Serie A strugglers Catania, the Italian Football League said on Monday.

Juve may have feared far worse punishment as fans sang "there are no black Italians", a chant that cost them a stadium ban last season when directed at Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli, an Italian of Ghanaian decent.

"During the game Juventus supporters briefly sang offensive chants regarding another team's player on three occasions, as well as letting off firecrackers in their sector," read a statement on the League's website.

The League said the punishment had been softened because of the Turin club's attempts to prevent such episodes taking place.

Italian media speculated that the fans responsible for the chants on Sunday may have been seeking to deliberately harm the club in anger at their poor form.

The loss to Catania was third-placed Juve's third straight defeat after last week's 3-1 reverse at Bari and a Champions League exit after a 4-1 home drubbing by Bayern Munich.

Napoli were fined 15,000 euros on Monday after a laser was shone at the opposition goalkeeper in Sunday's 2-0 home win over Chievo Verona.

The use of lasers by fans has become a growing problem in Italian football and pundits have called on authorities to do more than just fine clubs.

Napoli were fined the same amount when their supporters shone a laser in the eyes of AC Milan goalkeeper Dida in a 2-2 draw in October, while Cagliari and Bari were punished for the same offence by their fans last week.

Livorno were fined 8,000 euros on Monday because play had to be stopped briefly in their 3-1 home win over Sampdoria when their fans threw flares on the pitch.

Leaders Inter Milan also received a 5,000 euro fine after fireworks were let off in Sunday's 1-0 win over Lazio at the San Siro.