Inter Milan v Napoli tarnished by racism towards Kalidou Koulibaly

Inter Milan v Napoli tarnished by racism towards Kalidou Koulibaly

Inter Milan v Napoli tarnished by racism towards Kalidou Koulibaly

A fixture which many expected as being one of the most entertaining of the season ended up being overshadowed by racist abuse, as Inter Milan fans drowned out the noise at the San Siro with monkey chants towards Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. It was the first ever Boxing Day full fixture list in the Italian Serie A, but the day’s main event was ruined when Internazionale fans opted to put off their visiting side with racist abuse towards the Napoli centre-back.

There’s been a lot of negative words said about the Italian Football Federation and its referees, as the clearly offensive chanting wasn’t condemned by the referee, nor was there any sign of the match being immediately cancelled at any point. Carlo Ancelotti has already spoken on the matter, speaking of the referee’s inability to stop the game. He said: “There was a strange atmosphere, as we asked three times for play to be suspended. They had announcements with the speaker three times“.

Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti went on to talk about how much the abuse affected Kalidou Koulibaly. He said: “Koulibaly was certainly irritable. Usually, he is very calm and professional, but he was subjected to monkey noises throughout the game. We asked three times for some action to be taken, but the match continued. We keep being told play can be halted, but when? After four or five announcements?” Ancelotti finished off by stating his side’s integrity on the matter, showing a lot of courage in attempting to put an end to Italian football’s problem with racism. He concluded: “Maybe we have to take matters into our own hands next time and stop play ourselves. They’ll probably make us lose the game if we walk off, but we are prepared to do it. It’s not good for Italian football seeing this”.

Racism in Italian football has been a lingering issue for decades, with it being expected that Kalidou Koulibaly will opt to leave Naples in the next twelve months after Antonio Rudiger did the same after facing similar abuse during his time at Roma.

The entire fixture was overshadowed by the racist abuse, and Kalidou Koulibaly was so distracted by the hatred towards him that he ended up finding himself sent off, Lorenzo Insigne also finding red for similar frustrations. A ninetieth minute goal for Lautaro Martinez saw three points for Inter Milan to break the deadlock, but it’s hoped that the Italian Football Federation will make a stand and replay the fixture, or at least take some action over the ever-present issue of racism throughout Italian football.

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