By Oisin Sweeney • 03 February 2021 • 8:36
ROMAN FLORIANI MUSSOLINI, whose great-grandfather was Italy’s notorious dictator, has joined the youth wing of a top Italian football club.
The 18-year old will play as a right-back defender for the Under-19’s wing of Lazio, one of Italy’s top teams that has long had a reputation for its far-right connections.
Roman Floriani Mussolini, the son of former European parliamentarian Alessandra Mussolini, is in his final year of studies at a British school in Rome. While his family name carries a legacy of fascism, his Lazio coaches describe Roman as a dedicated and humble young talent.
However, the news is sure to spark controversy in Italy. Lazio holds a dark reputation as having some of Italy’s most brutal football ultras – extreme militant fans. Before being banned last year, one wing of the club’s supporters known as the Irriducibili (Indominatables) would regularly fly Swastika flags and racist banners during matches.
In 2017 they plastered the Italian capital with stickers of Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing the jersey of their local rivals, AS Roma. While the club claims that Roman’s signing was due to his skills on the field, some analysts in Italy have worried that his family name on the back of a Lazio jersey could cement the club’s position in the country’s far-right.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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