• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > Sport

Ghanaian Soccer Player Banned After Anti-Racist Protest

  • Pescara's Sulley Muntari (front) and AS Roma's Radja Nainggolan at Adriatico-Giovanni Cornacchia Stadium, Pescara, Italy

    Pescara's Sulley Muntari (front) and AS Roma's Radja Nainggolan at Adriatico-Giovanni Cornacchia Stadium, Pescara, Italy | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 May 2017

Players from around the world are calling Italian authorities out for the ban and their failure to punish racist fans. 

Italian soccer authorities were branded as “gutless” amid calls for strikes from the league's Black players this weekend, after a Ghanaian player was banned because of protesting against racist crowd abuse.

Brazilian Goalkeeper Who Killed Girlfriend Sent Back into Jail

During last weekend’s match between Cagliari and Pescara in Italy’s top league, the Serie A, Pescara’s Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari was given a yellow card for dissent after he reacted in protest to opposition fans' racist taunting.

Muntari was seen complaining to the referee to stop the game after coping with abuse throughout the game and shouting at the group of fans “this is my color.” The 32-year-old then received a second yellow card for walking off the pitch in protest and was given an automatic one-game ban by authorities for abandoning the game with the referee's permission.

The Serie A's disciplinary committee had said that no action had been taken against the group of Cagliari supporters because they were only a group of 10, apparently not enough to be punished under the league's rules.

“The gutless failure to not take action by the Italian authorities should not be allowed to pass,” British anti-discrimination organization Kick It Out said in a statement on its website.

Former player and BBC pundit Garth Crooks is now “calling for every self-respecting Black player in the Italian League to not play this week unless the Italian authorities withdraw the ban on Sulley Muntari,” Kick it Out continued.

Guinness World Records: Jamaican Asafa Powell Is Sub-10 King

“We urge Italian authorities to hear Muntari’s version of events, investigate why the situation was mismanaged, and take firm action to ensure this never happens again,” said international players association FIFPro in a statement.

FIFPro added that “Muntari was well within his rights to approach referee Daniele Minelli, as the first point of reference, to make his grievances known and seek a solution” and called for his first yellow card to be rescinded.

Unfortunately, Muntari’s case is not the only recent case of racism with the league. Muntari, who has also played in the English Premier League and internationally for Ghana, was playing for arguably Italy’s most famous club, AC Milan, in 2013, when German-Ghanaian teammate Kevin-Prince Boateng left the field because of racist chants from Pro Patria supporters in a friendly match.

While Boateng said that he has not seen the incident with Muntari, he added, “I trust the words of Sulley who is a great friend of mine. This is a very sad thing if we let go of these things without doing nothing is really serious."

Boateng said that the referee who sent off Muntari has failed in his responsibility “not only in the field to whistle, but to manage the entire stadium,” adding that similar to when he walked off four years ago, “I spoke with the referee, but he did nothing.”

Two of the country's biggest Clubs, Lazio and Inter Milan, were also found guilty of racist behavior towards players. Thousands of Inter Milan were seen hurling insults at Napoli’s Senegalese Defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Another large group of Lazio fans yelled insults at Germany’s Antonio Rudiger, who plays as a defender for cross-town rivals Roma. Inter Milan and Lazio could be hit with partial stadium closures if similar abuse continues.

Post with no comments.