Napoli’s Senegal defender, Kalidou Koulibaly, has called for racist fans to be banned from stadiums in Italy after he says he received a torrent of racist abuse online following his side’s 2-1 win at Fiorentina on Sunday.
Koulibaly, who has long been considered among the top defenders in the Italian top flight, took to social media early on Monday to detail a litany of abuse he received from the stands while conducting his post-match interview at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
The 30-year-old wrote on Twitter of the various racial insults he says were hurled his way, and called for Italian football chiefs to take action against the ongoing scourge of racist abuse in the game by banning offenders from attending games.
“‘Monkey of sh*t’, ‘Putain de singe’, ‘F*cking monkey’. They called me that,” he wrote on Twitter, via translation.
«Scimmia di merda».
«Putain de singe».
Mi hanno chiamato così.
Questi soggetti non c’entrano con lo sport.
Vanno identificati e tenuti fuori dagli stadi: per sempre.
— Koulibaly Kalidou (@kkoulibaly26) October 4, 2021
“These subjects have nothing to do with sport. They must be identified and kept out of the stadiums forever,” he added.
Koulibaly’s outburst was matched by his Nigerian teammate Victor Osimhen, who called for parents to educate their children about the evils of racism.
It was also reported that Osimhen was subjected to racist abuse during the same game.
speak to your kids,your parents make them understands how disgusting it is to hate an individual because of the color of their skin NOTORACISM❌
parla con i tuoi figli, i tuoi genitori fanno capire loro quanto sia disgustoso odiare un individuo per il colore della sua pelle pic.twitter.com/sV8udBXzBU
— victor osimhen (@victorosimhen9) October 3, 2021
“Speak to your kids, your parents – make them understands how disgusting it is to hate an individual because of the colour of their skin. NO TO RACISM,” he wrote online.
The vitriol in the stands was also noted as being “unacceptable” by Fiorentina director general Joe Barone, who was reported to have issued personal apologies to both Koulibaly and Osimhen, as well as Fulham loanee Andre-Frank Zambo-Anguissa, who was also targeted by the crowd.
The nature of the abuse hints that racism still festers within Italian football and comes shortly after AC Milan filed an official complaint with league authorities over alleged racial abuse directed at two of their players, Franck Kessie and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, has issued a public apology to the trio of Napoli players.
Victor, André-Frank, Kalidou: a nome di #Firenze vi chiedo scusa. Chi ieri ha offeso i calciatori del @sscnapoli allo stadio non rappresenta la città e non rappresenta la @acffiorentina, che ha subito preso le distanze. Negli stadi non c’è posto per l’ignoranza e la stupidità. pic.twitter.com/g2j9jpwZRQ
— Dario Nardella (@DarioNardella) October 4, 2021
“Victor, Andre-Frank, Kalidou: on behalf of #Firenze I apologize,” he wrote on social media, again via translation.
“[Those] who yesterday offended the Napoli players at the stadium do not represent the city and does not represent [Fiorentina], who immediately distanced [themselves from it]. There is no place in stadiums for ignorance and stupidity.”
And it seems as if the latest racial storm in Italian football might affect change of some description after the Italian Football Federation announced that an investigation into the allegations of abuse.
“In relation to the racist expressions addressed by Fiorentina fans to the Napoli player Kalidou Koulibaly, the Federal Prosecutor, having acquired the reports of its inspectors and having listened to the player, has opened an investigation,” it said in a statement.
“In the next few hours, further investigative acts will be carried out by acquiring the relevant documents from the Florence Police Headquarters.”
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