EXCLUSIVE: FIFA backs Sulley Muntari over racist abuse, wants Italy FA action over incident

Published on: 23 May 2017
EXCLUSIVE: FIFA backs Sulley Muntari over racist abuse, wants Italy FA action over incident
Muntari was punished by the referee for standing up against the racists

FIFA has delivered a humiliating snub to Italian football authorities by fully backing Ghana star Sulley Muntari over his actions following his racist abuse during a Serie A match, the world governing body has exclusively told Nigeriasoccernet.com.

FIFA says it is 'in full solidarity with Muntari' who was banned by the Italian FA for confronting the racists during the Serie A match against Cagliari.

Despite its support for Muntari, the world governing body says it is powerless in taking action against the Italian Serie A club Cagliari because it is not within its powers.

Muntari, who played in the English Premier League in the past, has drawn worldwide support for his action against racism in the sport and you can get the latest Premier League News at William Hill.

The Ghana star was given booking for complaining to the referee about racist abuse he received from some Cagliari fans and was slapped with a second yellow card for leaving the pitch without permission.

The referee's action indicated that Muntari was booked for dissent after asking the referee to stop Sunday's Serie A match after spotting some of the fans racially abusing him.

The former Ghana international then walked off the pitch in protest - which drew the ire of the referee for which he issue a second yellow card.

Sadly the Italian FA's disciplinary committee upheld Muntari punishment and to add insult to injury the body ruled that they could not punish the fans as only "approximately 10" were involved in the racist chants - which is not enough to elicit a ban on Cagliari citing rules in its own guidelines.

FIFA sharply disagreed with the ruling of Italy's FA Disciplinary Committee insisting that racism must not be condoned in football in any part of the world.

"FIFA first of all would like to express full solidarity with Muntari," a spokesman from the world governing body said in a statement to Ghana's leading football news outfit Nigeriasoccernet.com on Friday.

"Any form of racism on or outside the field is totally unacceptable and has no place in football.

"As to the disciplinary consequences, this falls under the jurisdiction of the relevant national body."

Garth Crooks, the former Tottenham striker and an independent trustee of anti-discrimination organisation in sports called Kick It Out, took the issue further by calling on all players in the Italian league to go on a strike this unless Muntari's one-match ban is overturned by the football authorities in Italy.

Muntari's compatriot who plays for Serie A side Bologna, Godfred Donsah, revealed he is "100%" willing to go on strike to show solidarity with ex-Portsmouth and Inter Milan midfielder Muntari.

The pressure mounted on Italian football guru later on Thursday when its own anti-racism advisor said Italian football's reputation around the world has been damaged by the Sulley Muntari affair.

Fiona May said the decision by the Italian FA's disciplinary committee to uphold the Pescara midfielder's punishment for his protest against  racism during a Serie A match while failing to take action against the fans had "sent a bad message".