In an article that has angered Italians, journalist Abel Mestre called attention to “the black shirts” of Lazio, comparing them to those worn by the paramilitary wing of dictator Benito Mussolini's party.
“The strip brings back memories of when Paolo Di Canio played for Lazio with his outrageous fascist views,” wrote Mestre in Le Monde on Wednesday.
“The club has a bad reputation for its neofascist fans who sit in the curva nord stand. On more than one occasion they have been heard chanting racist slogans, singing racists songs and making monkey noises,” he continued.
But the connection was dismissed by the Rome club, which claimed black was a merely pragmatic colour choice for the team's kit, which they'll wear whenever they play a Uefa Europa League game.
“The colour needed to be dark for the design to work – also because our home strip is a light sky blue and our away kit is white,” Marco Canigiani, the club's marketing manager told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“We sent about 20 different designs before Uefa gave us the okay.”
The kit features a two-tone black design showing a large eagle (the club's symbol) across the front.
Lazio will wear the new strip, which was designed by Italian sportswear brand Macron especially for the Europa League, on Thursday night when they take on FC Dnipro in Ukraine.
Lazio fans were especially disappointed with the French attack against their new strip, especially as last season their club took to the field for the Rome derby in a special kit with “Je Suis Charlie” written on the front, in the wake of January's Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
“PSG wear a black strip but nobody says anything!” Wrote one irate fan. “The French have a small memory.” #JeSuisCharlie.