December 28 – The pre-match violence and racist chanting at the Inter Milan vs Napoli match at the San Siro in Milan on Boxing Day have immediately resulted in a ban on Inter fans attending the club’s next two home games.
The scenes of violence before the game saw more than 100 Inter fans attack coaches carrying Napoli supporters. One fan was has died after being hit by a van while several Inter fans have been arrested and more have been identified in relation to the violence.
Milan’s police chief is to ask a public order committee to stop Inter fans travelling to away games for the rest of the season.
The match itself was marred by racist chants by Inter fans towards Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly – who was sent off in the 80th minute. Inter won the match 1-0.
Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti said they had requested the match was stopped on three occasions because of the torrent of abuse and monkey chants aimed at Koulibaly.
“We asked three times for the match to be suspended and there were three announcements, but the match continued,” Ancelotti told Sky.
“The solution exists. You have to stop the match. You just have to know when, after how many announcements. And if we don’t know, then next time we may have to stop play ourselves.”
Condemnation of the racism has come from all quarters of Italian football including Inter captain Mauro Icardi who posted a picture on social media of himself with Koulibaly, and said: “I am disappointed by what happened yesterday at San Siro. Let’s say STOP to racism and discrimination.”
Inter Milan issued their own statement condemning the violence and the racism and pointing to the club’s more than 100 year history during which they have “represented integration, hospitality and progressiveness.”
“These characteristics have defined the history of Milan – a city that stands for inclusion and respect. Together with our city, we have always been fighting to help create a future free of discrimination,” said the statement.
“We are committed to promoting these values wherever we operate and they have always been a source of pride for the Club. Inter is present in 29 countries across the world, from Cambodia to Colombia, working with thousands of children involved in the Inter Campus project. The aim is to restore the right to play for those who are often in precarious circumstances – the importance of such activities has also been recognised by the United Nations.
“From that night 110 years ago when our founders set us on our journey, we have always said no to any form of discrimination. That is why we feel obliged today, once again, to reiterate that anyone who does not understand or accept our history – this Club’s history – is not one of us.”
Lega Serie A announced on Thursday that Inter would have to play their next two home games behind closed doors, while the Curva Nord section of San Siro will be shut for a third match.
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