Britain’s anti-discrimination organization Kick It Out is calling for a strike by all black players in Italy in protest against Sulley Muntari’s one-match ban following Sunday’s racist incident in Cagliari.
The Pescara midfielder is set to sit out Saturday’s clash with Napoli after picking up two yellow cards - one for dissent after complaining of racist chants directed at him by Cagliari fans and another for walking off the pitch - as his side lost 1-0 at StadioSant’Elia.
FIFPro, the worldwide representative organization for professional footballers, had called on the bookings to be “rescinded”, but Italian football authorities on Tuesday upheld referee Daniele Minelli’s decision, arguing that the racist chants came from approximately 10 people, which was less than one per cent of about 2000 people who occupied the area of the Sant’Elia Stadium where the noise emanated from.
“Kick It Out has made 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.
“Garth Crooks, an independent Kick It Out Trustee, is calling for every self-respecting black player in the Italian League to not play this weekend unless the Italian authorities withdraw the ban on Sulley Muntari.”
According to FIFPro, Muntari, who only joined Pescara in January, 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”.