Sulley Muntari’s Protest– About 2 weeks ago, Ghana’s Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch in protest of racial behaviors targeted towards him from soccer fans.
On reporting the situation to the referee, the international star earned himself 2 yellow cards and a one-match ban by the league’s disciplinary commission.
In an interview with CNN‘s Christina Macfarlane, the star said it was not the first time he had had to endure and deal with racial remarks and insults. However this time he could not bear it.
“I am pleading to FIFA, UEFA, whoever, (to) look into things like this, because, most (players) get abused but they can’t say anything,”
“I don’t know why, but I walked off. If I were in (the referee’s) shoes, I would stop the game, because that would set an example before the world.”
Leading the way, Muntari backed by players’ union in Italy made an appeal against Muntari’s sanctions. In support for the Ghanaian footballer, there were rising calls for all black players to go on strike till Munatri’s sanction was overturned.
Report says that the Italian Footballers’ Association(IFA) lodged an appeal against Muntari’s one-match suspension. An official statement confirmed that the IFA met with referee Daniele Minnelli and decided to grant the appeal.
On that note the former Portsmouth midfielder admitted being angry with his club Pescara for not standing up for him during the ordeal.
“No one said anything and I wasn’t expecting anybody to say anything,”
“I look at certain things, I get really angry with them. Because your teammates are your family, (whether) you like it or not.”
“You see them every day and for them to turn their back on you was something not very pleasant.”
Pescara manager Zdenek Zeman however says he supports Muntari’s appeal but maintains that though Sulley was hurt he should not have walked off the pitch.
On the contrary some top stars and organizations applaud his walk-out protest. They believe it will make a significant statement that racism is not welcomed in the soccer world.
Professional Footballers Association of Ghana(PFAG) defended Sulley Muntari’s protest. The association also criticized Pescara for abandoning their star at such a moment.
Anti-discrimination campaigners, Kick It Out released a statement in Muntari’s defense.
“Kick It Out has made representation to FIFPro, the World Players’ Union, to share its frustrations about the treatment of Sulley Muntari by the FIGC (the Italian Football Federation). The gutless failure to not take action by the Italian authorities should not be allowed to pass.”
Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero also supported Sulley Muntari’s protest.
“You handled things perfectly; you’re setting the example for tomorrow. You did everything right.”
Stars like Asamoah Gyan and Yaya Toure also pledged their solidarity with Sulley Muntari.
Other players who have been victims of Soccer racial abuses include: Brazilian forward Givanildo Vieira de Sousa(Hulk), Ghanaian Emmanuel Frimpong, former Brazil great Roberto Carlos, Ivorian Marco Zoro, Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o amongst others.
FIFA has also reminded soccer fans that the soccer body condemns racism.
“FIFA’s position on any form of discrimination is unequivocal: There is no place for racism or for any form of discrimination in football, as clearly described in the FIFA Statutes.”