Time to punish racists, FIFA chief tells Italian football authorities
September 23, 2019 12:33 PM NPT
Soccer Football - FIFA Football Conference - Milan, Italy - September 22, 2019 FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the conference REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
MILAN, ITALY, Sept 23: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged Italian soccer authorities to hand out stadium bans for supporters guilty of racism after another incident in a Serie A match between Atalanta and Fiorentina on Sunday.
Play was briefly suspended after Fiore’s Brazilian wing-back Dalbert reportedly told referee Daniele Orsato he had been the target of racist abuse from fans at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma, where Atalanta are based while their ground is revamped.
An announcement was read over the stadium loudspeaker urging supporters to stop and the game, which finished 2-2, then continued, but Infantino believes the problem must be taken more seriously.
“Racism is combatted with education, condemnation and discussion,” said the FIFA chief, who was a guest on a programme aired by Italian state broadcaster Rai.
“You can’t have racism in society or in football. In Italy the situation hasn’t improved and this is serious. You need to identify those responsible and throw them out of the stadiums. You need, as in England, the certainty of the penalty. You can’t be afraid to condemn racists, we need to combat them until they stop.”
On Tuesday, Cagliari escaped punishment for alleged racist behaviour by their fans after monkey noises were heard being aimed at Inter Milan’s Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.