FIFPro union calls for ac­tion over Mun­tari

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Foot­ball’s in­ter­na­tional play­ers’ union says that a yel­low card handed out to Pescara’s Sul­ley Mun­tari should be re­scinded after the Ghana­ian in­ter­na­tional com­plained of racist abuse by fans in his team’s Ital­ian league game.

Mun­tari walked off the field in protest after be­ing booked for com­plain­ing in Sun­day’s Serie A match at Cagliari. The mid­fielder said he had told the ref­eree about racist abuse that had be­gun as soon as the match started.

FIFPro, the play­ers’ union, is­sued a state­ment Tues­day say­ing it urged “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.”

The state­ment added that “Mun­tari’s yel­low card should be re­scinded” and that “play­ers should feel com­fort­able bring­ing any is­sue to the at­ten­tion of the ref­eree, es­pe­cially one as sig­nif­i­cant as al­le­ga­tions of racism in the work­place.”

The 32-year-old Mun­tari, who said he had tried to rea­son with the fans, left his side with 10 men for stop­page time in the match, which Cagliari won 1-0.

“The fans were wrong, but the ref­eree had to act dif­fer­ently, not ac­cuse me of caus­ing trou­ble,” the for­mer Portsmouth mid­fielder said after the game. “If the of­fi­cials ac­tu­ally stopped games, I am con­vinced these things wouldn’t hap­pen any­more.”

FIFPro backed Mun­tari’s ac­tion, say­ing “no player should ever feel the need to take mat­ters into his own hands, as Mun­tari clearly felt obliged to do, by aban­don­ing the match or tak­ing spec­ta­tors to task for in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.”

AP PIC

Ref­eree Daniele Minelli shows the yel­low card to Pescara’s Sul­ley Mun­tari (third from left) in a Serie A match against Cagliari at Cagliari Sant’Elia Sta­dium in Italy on Sun­day.

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