FIFA and CAF match commissioner and General coordinator Anthony Baffoe has expressed his dismay at the prevalence of racism in football following an incident involving Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari during a Serie A match.
The veteran midfielder walked off the pitch following persistent racist chants aimed at him by fans of the home team Cagliari during their match against Pescara.
Muntari walked over to the stands in an attempt to reason out the situation with the fans but instead earned himself a yellow card for the incident.
In the aftermath of the incident he expressed his disappointment with the manner in which the match officials handled the situation.
“”They were chanting against me from the start, then in the first half I saw in the group there were some children and the parents said nothing,” Muntari is quoted as saying by Sky Sport Italia.
“So I turned to the parents and gave them my jersey, to set the example. In the Curva, the issue continued with another group of fans.
“I was trying to reason with them, but the referee told me to leave them alone. That’s when I got angry. Because rather than stop the game, he decided to punish me?
“The fans were wrong, but the referee had to act differently, not accuse me of causing trouble. I am the victim here. If the officials begin actually stopping games when this happens, I am convinced it won’t happen again.”
Baffoe who is also founder and General Secretary of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana believes racism has been allowed to blossom and doubts whether the situation will improve.
There is only one race “the human race”..it doesn’t seem like that!racism will never stop!All we(the black race) want is respect ????? pic.twitter.com/1whzW5detD— Anthony Baffoe (@AnthonyBaffoe) May 1, 2017
Muntari along with fellow Ghanaian team mate Kevin Prince Boateng staged another walk off due to racism in 2013 while playing for AC Milan during a pre-season game.
The Italian Football Federation is expected to address the incident in the coming days.
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