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Anti-semitic chanting mars Lazio's home draw against Tottenham Hotspur

November 22, 2012 -- Updated 2219 GMT (0619 HKT)
A section of Lazio fans unfold a
A section of Lazio fans unfold a "Free Palestine" banner during their 0-0 Europa League home draw with Tottenham.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Anti-semitic chanting reported at Lazio home match against Tottenham Hotspur
  • Lazio also unveiled "Free Palestine" banner during the 0-0 draw
  • Rome police have made two arrests over pre-match incidents in Italian capital
  • Lazio qualify for knockout stages of Europa League after draw

(CNN) -- Lazio's 0-0 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur in a top European club football match Thursday was marred by anti-semitic chanting, according to local media.

The chant "Spurs Jews, Spurs Jews" came from the north stand of the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, reported Italian news agency ANSA.

A banner reading "Free Palestine" was also unveiled by Lazio fans during the key Europa League match.

English Premier League Tottenham have a strong following from the Jewish community in North London where their White Hart Lane Stadium is situated.

The incidents came after Tottenham fans in the Italian capital were attacked in Camp de Fiori, in the heart of Rome's nightlife area Wednesday night.

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One was left in a serious condition in a local hospital after an assault in a bar, apparently by extremist supporters named "Ultras".

A Rome police spokesman told CNN that arrests had been made following the attacks.

"I can confirm that we have arrested two Roma fans after the incident yesterday at the Drunken Ship pub in the Campo de'Fiori district," he said.

Roma are the local rival club to Lazio and both play in the Stadio Olimpico.

The pre-match violence and offensive chanting was in sharp contrast to a warm reception given to former Tottenham and England football star Paul Gascoigne, who also played for Lazio.

The 45-year-old, who has battled personal problems, donned a light blue and white scarf, the colors of Lazio, as he was presented to the crowd.

"Welcome back Gazza. Lionheart, headstrong, pure talent, real man: still our hero," said one of the banners held aloft by home fans.

The match itself left both teams well-placed in Europe's second level club competition.

Lazio are already through to the knockout stage and top the group, while Tottenham, who owed the draw to heroics from French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, need only to avoid defeat in their final home match against Greek side Panathinaikos to go through.

In other games, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o scored as Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala moved into the knockout round with a 2-0 win over Italy's Udinese.

But Liverpool were held 2-2 at home by Swiss side Young Boys in the same group, with the second place to be decided in the final batch of matches.

La Liga high flyers Atletico Madrid also secured their passage with a 1-0 home win over Hapoel Tel Aviv, while French side Bordeaux and EPL Newcastle have gone through from Group D.

The European football season has been marked by a series of racist incidents, with England players in an under-21 international in Serbia, claiming they had been subjected to offensive chanting.

Governing body UEFA has charged the Serbian FA but said Thursday it had decided to postpone a decision on the disciplinary case until December 13.

Former England captain John Terry was recently banned by the English FA for four games for racial language he directed at an opponent in an EPL game last year.

Earlier Thursday, the FA cleared referee Mark Clattenburg of making racist comments to Terry's Chelsea teammate Jon Obi Mikel during a match against Manchester United last month.

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