Former President John Dramani Mahama has backed Sulley Muntari’s walk-off after he was racially abused by fans during Pescara’s Serie A match with Cagliari on Sunday. Mr. Mahama in a tweet said he stood with Muntari.
The Ghanaian left Pescara with 10 men and revealed he was abused by a child who was sitting with his parents. He took his complaints to referee, Daniele Minelli, who initially ignored him before booking him for dissent in the 89th minute.
This prompted the former Portsmouth and Sunderland player to leave the pitch in protest. He angrily confronted Cagliari fans, shouting: “This is my colour.”
His actions have been lauded and defended with the head of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, notably backing his protest.
Italian football’s issues with racist abuse have been well documented and Muntari, then at AC Milan, had a first-hand view when fellow Ghanaian, Kevin-Prince Boateng’s walked off the pitch because of racist chanting during a friendly with lower league side, Pro Patria in January 2013.
Muntari has since been suspended by the Serie A’s Disciplinary Commission for walking off, whilst Cagliari avoided any punishment for the racist chants. Officials at the ground wrote in their report that the racist chants were coming from only around 10 people, thus less than one per cent of the circa 2,000 in the stadium.
They also noted it was only audible because the rest of the supporters were staging a ‘silent protest’ and therefore the decision was made not to penalise Cagliari with a warning or a fine.
– By: Rahman Osman/citifmonline.com/Ghana