Fans barred from one Udinese game over Maignan racist abuse

23 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

AC Milan goalkeeper Mike MaignanAC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan was followed off the pitch by his team-mates after reporting racist chanting to the referee

Udinese have been ordered by Serie A to play one match behind closed doors following the racist abuse directed at AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

The game was briefly stopped when Maignan told the referee about the abuse and Milan then left the field.

The match resumed about 10 minutes later with Milan going on to win 3-2.

“I said we cannot play football like this. It is not the first time it has happened this way,” Maignan told Sky Sports Italy after the match.

“They must hand out very strong sanctions, because talking no longer does anything.

“We have to say that what they are doing is wrong. It is not the whole crowd – most fans want to cheer on their team and jeer you. That’s normal, but not this.

“At the first goal-kick I heard monkey noises, I said nothing. The second time I went to get the ball, I heard it again. I told the fourth official and my bench what happened.

“This isn’t the first time it has happened. I did not want to play, but we are a family and I could not leave my team-mates like that.”

Serie A said it “condemned any form of racism” after the match.

Gianni Infantino, president of world football governing body Fifa, said the incidents were “totally abhorrent” and called for the implementation of an automatic forfeit of games for teams whose fans commit racist abuse.

There is a three-step process for incidents of racism, with matches stopped and restarted twice before finally being abandoned if the abuse continues.

Udinese are 17th in Serie A, one point clear of the relegation zone, with third-placed Milan seven points behind leaders Juventus.

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