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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Mussolini hopes to be judged by his game

The great-grandson of Italy‘s late fascist dictator Benito Mussolini hopes he will not be judged by his name after being called up for the youth team at Serie A club Lazio.

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Romano Floriani Mussolini, 18, has been part of the squad for Lazio’s Under-19 ‘Primavera’ team for the past two matches, including their 2-0 loss to Juventus on Saturday.

“Here at Lazio I’m judged only for the way I play and not because my surname is Mussolini,” Romano told newspaper Il Messaggero.

“I hope I can make my debut for the Primavera one day.”

Romano is the third child of Alessandra Mussolini and husband Mauro Floriani, and great-grandson of Benito Mussolini, who was prime minister of Italy from 1922 to 1943 after a fascist coup.

Alessandra is a former member of the European Parliament for Forza Italia.

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The 18-year-old defender is currently completing his last year at the St George British International School in Rome, which is close to Lazio’s training ground.

A minority of Lazio fans, known as “ultras”, have links to the far right. A number of banners expressing pride in the fascist movement have been flown at the Stadio Olimpico’s Curva Nord over the years.

In 2005, club icon Paolo Di Canio gave a fascist salute to Lazio fans in the Curva Nord after playing in a derby win against city rivals AS Roma.

After receiving a ban, Di Canio was reported to have said “I am a fascist, not a racist”. He has since said he was misquoted.

It is unclear whether Romano has signed a professional contract with Lazio. The club were unavailable for comment when contacted by Reuters.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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