Thursday 19 October 2017

Victim Muntari suspended but Cagliari avoid sanction

Pescara's Sulley Muntari. Photo: Getty Images
Pescara's Sulley Muntari. Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Holland

Sulley Muntari will serve a one-match ban after Italian authorities decided against overturning his suspension for the two yellow cards he received for walking off the pitch at the weekend.

Muntari, formerly of Portsmouth, left the pitch in protest during Pescara's match against Cagliari on Sunday, having been booked after reporting racist abuse to the referee.

The 32-year-old said he heard the chants throughout the match at Cagliari's Stadio Sant'Elia and asked referee Daniele Minelli to stop the game.

Instead, the former Ghana midfielder was shown a yellow card for dissent and then angrily left the pitch, leaving Pescara, who lost 1-0, to play out stoppage time with 10 men.

Just hours before the news was announced, world footballers' union FIFPro called on the Italian authorities to cancel Muntari's yellow card.

However, Serie A authorities have decided that the punishment stands and Muntari will miss Pescara's next game.

Investigate

In a written statement, FIFPro said: "We urge the 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.

"FIFPro believes Muntari's yellow card should be rescinded. 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.

"Players should feel comfortable bringing any issue to the attention of the referee, especially one as significant as allegations of racism in the workplace.

"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.

"Professional footballers should expect to be adequately protected by the relevant authorities in a place of work that does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."

Irish Independent

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