Kick It Out, an anti-discrimination group in Britain, has slammed Italy’s football administrators for being “gutless” after they banned Sulley Muntari for taking a stand against racism.
The Ghanaian midfielder, who plays for Pescara, left the field in stoppage time during last weekend’s Serie A meeting with Cagliari.
Muntari had been subjected to racist abuse from Cagliari fans throughout the game.
The 32-year-old was so fed up eventually that Pescara had to play without him for the last two minutes.
He was shown a second yellow card for “leaving the field without permission”.
Bafflingly, a Serie A disciplinary committee handed him a one-match ban but didn’t even give a warning to Cagliari over its fans.
The committee said the racist remarks were “deplorable” yet they couldn’t fine the club because “only 10 fans were involved”.
That number is apparently too small to punish a club.
“We have made a representation to FIFPro, the World Players’ Union, to share its frustrations about the treatment of Sulley Muntari by the FIGC (the Italian Football Federation),” Kick It Out said in a statement.
“The gutless failure to not take action by the Italian authorities should not be allowed to pass. It’s unbelievable that Cagliari escaped punishment as ‘only 10’ fans were involved. This situation should never be allowed to happen again.”
Former Tottenham legend Garth Crooks, who is an independent trustee of the organisation, called for radical action from black players in Serie A.
“Every self-respecting black player in the Italian League should not play this weekend unless the Italian authorities withdraw the ban on Sulley Muntari,” he was quoted as saying.
Muntari was a key player for Ghana in 2010’s World Cup in South Africa, where he scored a wonder goal in the quarterfinal against Uruguay.