ROME (AP) — Lazio suspended eagle trainer Juan Bernabè on Wednesday after he was filmed making a fascist salute in front of fans.
Bernabè has been the falconer and the trainer of Lazio’s eagle mascot Olympia since 2010.
A video, which went viral on social media, showed Bernabè holding Olympia and making the fascist salute while chanting “Duce, Duce” along with the Lazio fans after the team’s victory over Inter Milan on Saturday.
“Duce” was the nickname for Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
“Having learnt of the existence of the video which shows Juan Bernabè (not an employee of Lazio but a worker for an external company) behaving in a way that offends the club, the fans and the values to which the community aspires, action has been taken with the company for the immediate suspension of the person concerned from the service and for the possible termination of existing contracts,” Lazio said in a statement.
Lazio fans have had a troubled history of racism and fascism and the club has long tried to crack down on the problem.
The club said in the statement that it had sent out a letter just last week to all its suppliers reminding them of the code of ethics.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Associated Press