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English FA report Lazio to UEFA for anti-semitic chants

Lazio fans hold a banner reading "Free Palestine" during a Europa League Group J soccer match between Lazio and Tottenham Hotspur

Andrew Medichini/The Associated Press

The English FA will send a report to UEFA following anti-semitic chanting by Lazio fans during Tottenham Hotspur's goalless draw in the Europa League on Thursday.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has already said UEFA must investigate and the FA backed his stance on Friday.

"We were saddened and alarmed to see reports of violent incidents prior to the game as well as anti-semitic chants," an FA spokesperson said.

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"The FA had a crowd control advisor present at the fixture who will provide an urgent report which we will pass on to UEFA as a matter of priority."

Thursday's match at Rome's Olympic stadium was overshadowed by violence after a Tottenham fan was seriously injured and nine others badly hurt when thugs wearing helmets and armed with knives and chains attacked a group of fans in a bar the night before the game.

The Associated Press reports two Italian men identified as fans of Roma have been arrested in connection with the attack at the pub in Campo de' Fiori square.

A police statement says that after investigations of 15 people and searches of homes, officers arrested 26-year-old Francesco Ianari and 25-year-old Mauro Pinnelli. Italian reports say the two were being held on suspicion of attempted murder and other charges.

Lazio fans were initially suspected.

Witnesses said the hooligans shouted "Jew" during the attack. Tottenham supporters are often called the "Yid Army" and the team is known to have a large Jewish fan base from north London.

During the match, home supporters sang "Juden Tottenham" during the first half, a reference to Spurs having a large Jewish fanbase and the supporters identifying themselves as the "Yid Army".

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"It will take another investigation. It happened last time and it was acted upon quickly by UEFA," Villas-Boas said.

In October, Lazio were fined 40,000 euros (32,500 pounds) by UEFA following racist chanting at White Hart Lane when the teams played the first game against each other in the competition and Lazio fans targeted Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend with monkey chants.

"We will have to wait and see if there is anything to act upon. If there is, UEFA have to act." Villas-Boas added.

Villas-Boas said the club was aware of the trouble and danger the club's fans had been in.

"It is an extremely difficult moment for them," he said.

"We have to be aware there is a police investigation and I'm not in control of all facts.

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"But there is massive disappointment, and the fear they've gone through is hard. We give them a message of support. As a club, we will try to help them overcome this."

With files from the Associated Press

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