UEFA and FIFPro criticise handling of Koulibaly abuse

Officials failed to follow the correct protocol for dealing with racist incidents after Kalidou Koulibaly was abused, say UEFA and FIFPro.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly was subjected to racist chants during a match against Inter Milan.   -  Getty Images

UEFA and FIFPro have condemned the "unacceptable" racist chants directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly at Inter on Wednesday and criticised a failure to follow the recognised protocol for dealing with such incidents.

The three-step process dictates that, in the first instance, the referee should stop the game and request that an announcement be made over the public address system.

READ | Koulibaly hits back after alleged racist chanting during Inter defeat

The second step requires the players to return to the changing rooms while the issue is addressed and the final step, if required, is to abandon the match.

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti claims he asked officials on three occasions to suspend Wednesday's clash at San Siro but no such action was taken.

Koulibaly was sent off 10 minutes from the end of the match after he sarcastically applauded a booking, before Lautaro Martinez netted a stoppage-time winner for Inter.

Inter has been ordered to play two home matches behind closed doors and will be subject to a partial closure for a third match.

"FIFPro and UEFA jointly condemn the racist abuse aimed towards Napoli player Kalidou Koulibaly last Wednesday during a league match at FC Internazionale in Milan," read a statement.

"Both organisations applaud the prompt actions taken by Italy's football authorities, who sanctioned FC Internazionale with the next two matches to be played behind closed doors and, additionally, with a partial closure for FC Internazionale's third home match.

"However, FIFPro and UEFA are very concerned by this unacceptable racist incident and by what appears on the surface to be a failure to respect the widely recognised three-step anti-racism protocol.

"Koulibaly, a French-Senegalese defender, was subject to racist chanting and, despite announcements made by the stadium speaker, the chants did not stop. Moreover, it seems that Napoli's coaching staff had already informed the referee several times of racist chants.

"Both organisations are of the opinion that the racist chants towards Koulibaly, who had to leave the pitch after receiving a second yellow card, are unacceptable and have no place in football.

"FIFPro and UEFA support the Italian football authorities on any additional measure that will be taken to tackle racism in stadia for which FIFPro and UEFA have a zero-tolerance policy."

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