World football superstars have spoken in one voice, condemning Boxing Day’s incident in which Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was subjected to racist chanting at San Siro during a league game against Inter Milan.
Five-time world footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo posted on Instagram: “There always needs to be education and respect. No to racism and to any sort of insult and discrimination.”
Kalidou’s skipper at national level and Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane said he was “bitter” and “dismayed” at what he went through.
“I am bitter not to say bruised and dismayed by what you have experienced.
But I know you well enough that these abominable acts will not reach you at all.
We are proud of our race and we will continue to defend it as we defend the colors of our homeland. You reminded the world that identity does not compartmentalize.”
Egypt and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah tweeted that: “There’s no place for racism in football. There’s no place for racism anywhere at all.”
Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany partly blamed elected politicians for setting the tone with divisive rhetoric but called for reason to prevail.
“Really!? Koulibaly racially abused at San Siro. Raheem Starling at Stamford Bridge… This is unacceptable! Elected politicians set the tone with divisive rhetoric granted but some level of reason has to return! Respect Ancelotti and Napoli teammates for post-match comments.
Kouibaly, 27, failed to finish the game after picking two yellow cards, the second for sarcastically applauding the referee and has been handed a two match ban.
Napoli manager Carlo Anclotti who failed to get the match halted until the despicable acts stopped has said he will lead a walk off if such an incident happened again in future even if it means losing points.
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