CELTIC sensation Jeremie Frimpong admitted last night that he is wary about the possibility of racist chanting from travelling Lazio fans during tomorrow night’s Europa League match at Celtic Park - after being on the end of abuse at a youth tournament in the Italian capital as an 11-year-old.

The Serie A outfit travel to Glasgow this week, with their supporters having been freshly warned by the club’s directors that any further instances of racism from the stands could lead to a stadium ban.

As it is, the club’s Stadio Olimpico ground will be partially closed for the return match in Rome next month, with the club also fined £17,300 after incident’s during the 2-1 win against Rennes and told the stadium will be closed outright should they re-offend within a year.

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The promising Dutch youth international defender, who will have to settle for a seat in the stands as he is unavailable for tomorrow night’s match as he isn’t on the club’s European list, told reporters yesterday of how he had run the gauntlet as a young man in the colours of Manchester City. While ramifications are still ongoing after England’s recent international with Bulgaria was twice stopped in protest against racist abuse, the 18-year-old feels that walking off the pitch in protest should be regarded as a last resort.

“When I was back at [Manchester] City, I went to a tournament in Italy and their fans were making monkey chants but I tried not to let it bother me,” said Frimpong. “It must have been Under-11s or something. I think it was Rome. And it wasn’t just me, my team-mates were getting it as well. It is a game of football, what has the colour of my skin got to do with it? I am just kicking the ball, what makes you so angry?

“There is always going to be racism, always,” he added. “Although I think it used to be a lot worse back in the day, and I think it is getting better and better. I wouldn’t like to see that [players walking off the pitch in protest] happen. You see that in the England-Bulgaria match. After that happened, it just killed the mood. I wouldn’t like that to happen.”

Bulgarian Football Union president Boris Mihaylov resigned in the wake of that meeting with England, as did head coach Krasimir Balakov. But the problem is hardly an exotic one to these shores. Two men were recently arrested in connection with the alleged racist abuse which led to the cancellation of the FA Cup tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town, while Hearts launched an investigation last week into alleged racist remarks from their own supporters at Tynecastle towards Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.