News 9 May 2017

Sully Muntari spoke out in a big way about racism in football

9 May 2017

Sully Muntari, the former Inter and AC Milan player, who now plays for Pescara, was sent off for leaving the pitch after receiving racist abuse from Cagliari fans during a Seria A game last weekend.

During the closing stages of the match, a section of Cagliari ‘supports’ directed racist chants at the 32-year-old who remonstrated with the referee but was shown a yellow card for dissent then a second booking for walking off the pitch in protest at his treatment.

After being dismissed, Muntari walked towards the Cagliari “fans” and yelled “this is my colour” while pointing at his skin.

The one match ban he would have served after the two yellow cards was overturned after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said it had considered the “particular delicacy” of the case.

However in a interview with the BBC, the former Champions League winner said he had “been through hell” and was “treated like a criminal” after being sent off for standing up for himself.

He added, “I went off the field because I felt it wasn’t right for me to be on the field while I have been racially abused.

“Fifa and Uefa only care about what they want to care about.

“If they want to fight racism they should be able to jump right in and tackle it but they have nothing to say about it, this is a big deal.”

 The 2008 FA Cup winner believes this incident would never happen in England.

Muntari explained, “I never heard anything like that in England because I think they don’t tolerate it.

“The people who are racist are really scared to do it in a stadium because they will get prosecuted or banned. But in Italy they go free.”

This was not the first time a black player has been racially abused in Italy.

In April 2009, Inter’s Mario Balotelli was subjected to racial abuse from Juventus fans.

They were handed a one-game home fan ban as a result.

Kévin Constant and Nigel de Jong, while playing for AC Milan, had bananas thrown at them by Atalanta fans in May 2014.

Atalanta were later fined €40,000.