Skip to main content

Lazio president Claudio Lotito inundated with 'death threats' from fans

updated 8:32 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
Italian entreprenuer Claudio Lotito has been president of Lazio since 2004.
Italian entreprenuer Claudio Lotito has been president of Lazio since 2004.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lazio president Claudio Lotito receives death threats from fans
  • Fans reacted angrily after Lotito sanctioned the sale of Hernanes to Inter Milan
  • Hernanes joined Lazio in 2010, going on to make over 100 appearances
  • The Brazilian was out of contract at the end of the current season

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Troubled by racism and corruption, Italian football's image took another turn for the worst after Lazio president Claudio Lotito revealed he had received "death threats" from scores of fans after selling star player Hernanes to Inter Milan.

Hernanes, the Brazilian who arrived at Rome-based Lazio in 2010, swapped the Italian capital for Milan at the end of the January transfer window.

"Yesterday, I received between 50 to 70 to 80 telephone calls from pseudo-fans, in which they asked me to leave Lazio and made death threats against me," Lotito told reporters.

For the ninth straight year Real Madrid are ranked as the world's richest club with a total revenue of $702 million. Their global reach allows the Spanish club to make millions in commercial revenue, both domestically and internationally, thanks to marketable stars like Cristiano Ronaldo -- recently crowned the world's best player. For the ninth straight year Real Madrid are ranked as the world's richest club with a total revenue of $702 million. Their global reach allows the Spanish club to make millions in commercial revenue, both domestically and internationally, thanks to marketable stars like Cristiano Ronaldo -- recently crowned the world's best player.
Football's Rich List: 1. Real Madrid
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Football\'s Rich List Football's Rich List
Cristiano Ronaldo raises the Ballon d'Or, after being crowned FIFA's best for the second time in his career. Cristiano Ronaldo raises the Ballon d'Or, after being crowned FIFA's best for the second time in his career.
Golden Boy
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
Fifa Ballon d\'Or gallery Fifa Ballon d'Or gallery

"I live under escort," he added. "The supporters are part of the club but now they have overstepped the mark."

Hernanes became a firm favorite among Lazio fans after joining the club from Sao Paulo; making over 100 appearances and helping the team win the 2013 Coppa Italia.

But, with his contract expiring at the end of the current season, Hernanes would have been able to switch clubs without Lazio commanding a transfer fee, leaving Lotito with no choice but to sell the player.

"It was Hernanes' decision to leave, so what could I do?" added Lotito. "He had an agreement with Inter. If he had stayed, he would have been unhappy.

"He would have stayed here unhappy until June, then gone off to the World Cup, then come back for a few months and left on a free transfer.

"If you want to leave, you've got to say so."

In recent years Italian football has been troubled by racist chanting towards black players, while supporters use football as an excuse to play out long-running spats between different parts of Italy's cities as well as its regions.

Match fixing has also blighted Italian football with leading club Juventus relegated to the second tier over the Calciopoli scandal in 2006.

Lotito himself was banned from football for two-and-a-half years for his involvement in the Calciopoli scandal.

Hernanes, who has played 23 times for his country, will hope to be part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad when Brazil hosts the World Cup later this year.

Read: Chelsea ends Man City's home run

Read: Spain mourns "tiki taka" master Aragones

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT