Olimpia to Continue Flying in Lazio Matches despite Fascist Incident

The eagle Olimpia will keep entertaining the home crowd in Lazio games. Even though his main handler Juan Bernabè has been suspended for making fascist gestures, the club has quickly found a replacement. They did not have to look far because his brother José Maria will take over. He is already familiar with the animal and used to serve as the falconer back when it was first introduced, Tuttomercatoweb reports.

The disgraced hawker gave an interview to Il Messaggero: “This matter has nothing to do with Lazio, and I am sorry they got caught in the crosshairs. In my mind, that is a military salute, and I am an army man. I have right-wing culture. I support the Vox political party alongside many players, and I am proud of it. In Spain, the fascist salute is different, as it is done with the arm bent on top of the heart. That is not the case in Italy, and I did not know about it.”

“I do not deny shouting Benito Mussolini’s name, and I will not disavow it. I esteem him because he did great things for Italy, just as Francisco Franco did for Spain. Lazio has yet to send me the official commutation of my suspension, but it is coming. It is a fair punishment. I am responsible for what I did. It was an impulse generated by the post-game euphoria after a great win. I was unaware of such way to celebrate. I did not want to create trouble for the team.”