Italy bans players from wearing No. 88 jersey

Football players in Italy will be banned from wearing No. 88 as part of an initiative combating antisemitism, it was announced on Tuesday.

The No. 88 is a numerical code for “Heil Hitler”; H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

In March, a fan wearing a Lazio shirt with the name “Hitlerson” and the No. 88 was banned for life from attending matches of the Roman club.

The initiative, which is being coordinated between the Italian government and the Italian football federation (FIGC), includes the addition of a code of ethics in accordance with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The initiative also calls for games to be suspended in case of antisemitic chants or acts — similar to the way cases of racism are supposed to be handled.

Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said the moves are “an adequate and efficient response to intolerable prejudice that too often arises in our stadiums.”

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina added: “Soccer’s credibility, which gets hurt and damaged by discriminatory behavior, has a direct reflection on Italian society.”

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