Garth Crooks; a Kick It Out trustee, has called on “every self-respecting black player” to strike in Italy this weekend, following the decision to uphold Pescara midfielder Sully Muntari’s ban after he was subject to racial abuse in Pescara’s game versus Cagliari.
Muntari was booked for dissent following his complaints to the match referee, and then opted to walk off the pitch. Muntari’s suspension is set to be upheld, resulting in an outcry of discontent from the footballing world.
Italy’s football chiefs were labelled “gutless” by anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out.
“Those with power in Italy need to take action to stop this happening again”
Kick It Out, May 2017
The Serie A disciplinary body that opted to issue Muntari’s ban stated that they agreed the actions of a minority were “deplorable” though no sanctions could be imposed due to the offenders representing less than 1% of Cagliari supporters in the ground.
Racial abuse in the Italian game has long been an issue, with prominent players such as Mario Balotelli receiving ‘bananna’ jibes (see above) whilst playing for AC Milan. Serie A; and in wider terms Italian football, is plagued with an immensely serious issue, how long before purposeful action is taken, or are the abhorrent actions of a minority uncontrollable?
Outcry has been prominent following the decision to uphold Muntari’s ban, and claims from Kick It Out ambassadors such as Garth Crooks are representative of many: this behaviour should not be tolerated and is simply not acceptable.
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