Italian League African Players Urged To Strike in Protest of Sulley Muntari Suspension

Mark Babatunde May 04, 2017
CAGLIARI, ITALY - APRIL 30: Sulley Muntari of Pescara react during the Serie A match between Cagliari Calcio and Pescara Calcio at Stadio Sant'Elia on April 30, 2017 in Cagliari, Italy. Photo credit: by Enrico Locci/Getty Images

Footballers of African descent plying their trade in the Italian football league have been urged to refuse to participate in this weekend’s run of matches in solidarity with Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari.

Ex-Tottenham striker Garth Crooks has called on African players in the Italian league to strike this weekend unless Muntari’s one-match suspension is withdrawn, according to the BBC.

Garth Crooks

Garth Crooks. Photo credit: Champions Speakers

Crooks, who has actively campaigned to end racism in football, said, “Every self-respecting Black player in Italy should go on strike this weekend unless league authorities withdraw the ban.”

An Abusive Match

On Tuesday, Face2Face Africa reported that Muntari, who plays for Series A side Pescara walked off the pitch minutes before the end of the game to protest against the racist abuse he received from a section of the crowd during Sunday’s away match at Cagliari.

His action immediately earned him a second yellow card from match officials for dissent, although officials did nothing to reign in the abuse.

Crooks, a British player of Black ancestry who played for top English teams Tottenham, Stoke City, and West Brom and a current trustee for the anti-racism charity “Kick It Out,” said on the organization’s website:

The gutless failure to not take action by the Italian authorities should not be allowed to pass.

This is not just about Black players, we’ve moved on from that. This is about players.

And I’m also a little alarmed that Sulley Muntari’s teammates have not become involved in this.

His manager’s not said more — he said something but quite frankly what he has said is rather inadequate as far as I’m concerned.

So it’s about addressing racism together as Black players and White players, because that’s the only way we’re going to get past this problem in football.

Meanwhile, a disciplinary committee set up by Italian league bosses, which handed Muntari the ban, described the actions of the fans as deplorable but said its guidelines meant it could not impose far-reaching sanctions as only approximately 10 supporters or fewer than 1 percent of the Cagliari supporters were involved.

Fifpro, the world football players union, however, slammed the decision of the Italian league bosses, with union spokesman Andrew Orsatti describing it as appalling, “The message had to be about racism and stamping it out and sending a clear message that Muntari’s cry for help was heard, but they failed on both counts, the Italian authorities, and the mind boggles as to how that occurred.”

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates