The Lazio Legia soccer match didn’t even have a chance to begin before a riot broke out, with fans of the Italian soccer club raining bottles and stones on police cars outside the stadium in Warsaw.
The teams were set to face off in the Polish League champions in a UEFA Europe League match. The contest was set to take place in Legia’s 32,000-seat stadium in Warsaw.
Officials said roughly 750 of the 14,000 tickets sold went to Lazio’s fans, but the small group managed to inflict some big damage before the Lazio Legia soccer match ever began.
Police said about 120 Lazio supporters started to riot, destroying property and targeting police.
“Bottles and stones were thrown from the Italian group in the direction of the police cars,” a police spokesman said.
Lazio fans have been known to cause trouble in the past. Earlier this year the club was forced to close a section of its home stadium after fans chanted racist songs during a match.
Lazio was playing Juventus in the Supercoppa final when fans targeted a number of Junventus players, including Paul Pogba, Angelo Ogbonna, and Kwadwo Asamoah, were targeted by the racist fans during the encounter.
Pogba took on the racist Lazio fans, saying, “We heard it, they’re ignorant. What can I do? I’m alone against 30,000 fans. They do that even though there are black players in their team.”
He then added, “It’s also a lack of respect towards their own players. It’s really not nice to come to a football match and hear those sorts of things, but I’m a player, I concentrate on my job.”
After the riot before the game was quelled, the Lazio Legia soccer match went on as scheduled, with Lazio winning 2-0.