Sulley Muntari will serve ban after racism complaint dismissed and booking upheld during Serie A match
The Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari, who was booked for allegedly complaining about being racially abused while playing Pescara away to Cagliari in Serie A on Saturday, has had his one-match ban upheld by the Italian disciplinary commission.
The Pescara midfielder and former Ghana international walked off the pitch in protest when referee Daniele Minelli booked him, after he claimed he was being racially abused by a section of the Cagliari crowd.
Muntari informed the referee of the abuse and requested that he stop the match. However he was instead booked for dissent, before deciding to leave the pitch himself in protest.
As he left the pitch he was heard to shout to the fans abusing him: “This is my colour”.
Now it has been revealed that the Italian disciplinary commission will not rescind the yellow card shown to Muntari – which means he receives an automatic one-match ban for the accumulation of five yellow cards – and that no further action will be taken against Cagliari.
It has been reported on Football Italia that the club will escape punishment for the chanting because the officials wrote in their match report that 'only around 10 supporters' were directly involved.
The report also allegedly notes that the noise being generated by these fans was made more noticeable by the rest of the supporters staging a silent protest at the time. The report concludes that therefore no decision was made to penalise the club with either a warning or fine.
Muntari told television reporters after the game that the insults had started at the very beginning of the match, while a number of those responsible were children.
“There was a little kid doing it with his parents standing nearby,” said Muntari, who played for both Portsmouth and Sunderland in the Premier League.
“So I went over to him and told him not to do it. I gave him my shirt, to teach him that you’re not supposed to do things like that. I needed to set an example so he grows up to be nice.
“[The referee] told me I should not talk to the crowd. I asked him if had heard the insults. I insisted that he must have the courage to stop the game.
“The referee should not just stay on the field and blow the whistle, he must do everything. He should be aware of these things and set an example. I am not a victim. But if you stop the matches I am convinced that these things won’t happen any more.”
Independent News Service