Sulley Muntari was booked by match official after he reported to him racial abuse during Pescara’s Serie A match against Cagliari on Sunday. The midfielder walked off the pitch in protest of the referee’s refusal to take action.
The 32-year old said that the chants had been made throughout the match and even called upon referee Daniele Minelli to halt the match.
Contrary to the former Ghana midfielder’s expectations, the match official showed him yellow card in the 89th minute, forcing his team which lost 1 – 0 to play with one man less.
Before leaving the pitch, Muntari had angrily confronted Cagliari fans, shouting “This is my color.”
Muntari narrates his ordeal
Muntari, who has also played for Inter Milan and AC Milan, spoke to Premium Sport telling of how demoralized he felt.
“You saw what happened. The fans were chanting at me during the first half. There was a little kid doing it with his parents standing nearby. So I went over to him and told him not to do it. I gave him my shirt, to teach him that you’re not supposed to do things like that. I needed to set an example so he grows up to be nice,” he said.
But once again during the second half, the incident was repeated on the same stand, to which Muntari decided to speak to the referee. But the official reacted by informing him that he is not supposed to speak to the fans.
According to Pescara boss, a lot has to be done to ensure the issue of racial abuse is tackled.
He explained that Muntari’s reason for leaving the pitch was due to racial abuse but it is not up to players to dole out justice. What’s important is to talk about it as much as possible and let relevant authorities take the necessary action.
The incident led to a wave of social media support, with many online users commending his bold step.
FIFA, the world’s football governing body also applauded his principles but added that it did not agree with his decision to walk off the pitch.