Fifa in ‘full sol­i­dar­ity’ with Muntari

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MANAMA: Fifa pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino said he in­tends to talk with Pescara mid­fielder Sul­ley Muntari, the vic­tim of racist abuse in Italian foot­ball, and vowed to fight racist “id­iots.”

Muntari was booked for com­plain­ing about racist abuse dur­ing a match at Cagliari and sub­se­quently sus­pended, although that sanc­tion was later lifted.

The Ghana­ian then walked off the field in protest in the fi­nal min­utes of the game.

In­fantino told re­porters yes­ter­day that he in­tended to talk with Muntari and would give him Fifa’s “full sol­i­dar­ity.”

The Fifa pres­i­dent also said he would be dis­cussing the is­sue with Italian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Pres­i­dent Carlo Tavec­chio about the is­sue.

“Of course I will speak to Tavec­chio, I will speak to Muntari as well... we will work to­gether,” In­fantino, who is in Bahrain for to­mor­row’s Fifa Congress said.

Asked what could be done about the is­sue, In­fantino said: “Fight. Con­tinue to fight. It’s good to bring these things out when they hap­pen.

“We have to work. We have to work on the peo­ple.”

In­fantino said the pro­to­col, es­tab­lished by UEFA in Europe, with a se­ries of sta­dium an­nounce­ments lead­ing up to a pos­si­ble stopping of the game, should be ap­plied.

“Un­for­tu­nately id­iots, there are al­ways id­iots every­where but we have to fight them,” he said.

Muntari said he had com­plained that parts of the crowd, in­clud­ing a group of chil­dren, had hurled racist in­sults at him from the start of the game in Cagliari on April 30.

The player said the ref­eree told him to stop talk­ing to the crowd and ended up show­ing him the yel­low card for dis­sent in the 90th minute.

The de­ci­sion to pun­ish Muntari has been widely crit­i­cised and the player him­self has said Fifa and UEFA are not tak­ing the is­sue of racism se­ri­ously. Reuters

AP PIC

Ref­eree Daniele Minelli shows the yel­low card to Pescara’s Sul­ley Muntari (sec­ond from right) for com­plain­ing about racist abuse from Cagliari fans dur­ing their Serie A match on April 30.

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