NORTHRIDGE, CA – Ghanaian central midfielder, Sulley Muntari said he has been abused multiple times after a racist experience last Sunday on the field during Serie A game against Cagliari.
In the last 10 minutes of the game, Cagliari fans started shouting racists chants. When Muntari heard the chants he tried to report the abuse of the small group in the crowd. Referee Daniele Minelli did not stop the game to address the situation. The 32-year-old went toward the small group, and the referee then booked the player.
The Pescara player walked off the field as a demonstration and he got another yellow card. After refusing to play, Muntari was suspended but on Friday the Italian Football Federation overturned the suspension.
When Muntari was with Internazionale he helped them win the Champions League in 2009 and 2010. Pescara is standing by Sulley Muntari, they released a statement to, “send a strong signal against racism, whether it’s done by one or 100 people.” The world football player’s union, FIFPro also supports Muntari’s decision to walk off the field. The union said, “We urge Italian authorities to hear Muntari’s version of events, investigated why the situation was mismanaged and take firm action to ensure this never happens again.”
They also said, “Muntari 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. Players should feel comfortable bringing any issue to the attention of the referee, especially one as significant as allegations of racism in the workplace.”
The husband and father, had an interview with CNN Sport. He told the interviewer this was not the first time he experienced racism. He said his cup was full and he could not take it anymore, and that he is human. The interview was very emotional. Muntari is not the only international soccer player who has experienced racism. Mario Balotelli, Scott Sinclair, and Medhi Benatia have also experienced racism on the field.
According to a research analysis from University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, last year there were 104 racist incident reports in sports internationally.
By Lauren Turner Dunn
Contributions from, Football Italia, ABC, Mirror, Black America Web , CNN
Photos, Ghana Soccer Net, CNN
Video, Nick Parr