13 May, 2017
"Racism is spoken of a lot and, today, this has happened to Muntari, who has been playing in Italy for many years". The issue continued with another group of fans. The official then showed the former Ghana worldwide midfielder a yellow card.
Speaking to Italian television after the match, Muntari said he had been abused by a group of fans in the first half but had tried to defuse the situation by giving one of the group, a child, his shirt "to teach him you're not supposed to do things like that". But pro athletes often find out the hard way not everyone wants to be inclusive, and Ghanaian soccer player Sulley Muntari is the latest victim of targeted abuse from sports fans.
"I told him he should have the courage to stop the game, a referee's job isn't just to blow his whistle for a foul - he needs to do everything".
But what's as disgusting as the racial abuse hurled his way was the fact that Muntari says he told referee Daniele Minelli and his assistants to please do something about the racist chants, only to be slapped with a yellow card for "dissent".
Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari will serve a one-match ban as Italian authorities decide against rescinding the yellow cards he received after reporting racist abuse. I'm sad and angry because those who are around close their eyes. Because rather than stop the game, he made a decision to punish me? "If the officials actually stopped games, I am convinced these things wouldn't happen anymore".
Pescara boss Zdenek Zeman explained: "He asked the referee to intervene, but he [said he had] neither heard nor seen anything. We need this to stop".
Italy and part of the footballing world continue to struggle to stamp out racist chants at games.
The Tribunal said Cagliari are not being sanctioned because those fans were less than one per cent of the stadium stands' occupants.
In response to the referee's staunch refusal to do anything about the abuse, and following the example set by Kevin Constant and Kevin Prince-Boateng years ago, Muntari walked off the pitch.
"We need to see more done when it comes to expressions of racism at worldwide or even national football grounds", Zeid said.