- UN Human Rights official applauds Muntari's decision to walk off pitch after racial abuse
- Muntari received a yellow card and a one game ban for protesting against racial abuse
- Italian FA says has it upheld ban saying only ten supporters shouted racial slurs
A United Nations (UN) Human Rights official has supported former Black Star midfielder's decision to walk off the pitch following an incident where fans shouted racial slurs at him during a football match.
Mr. Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has applauded former Black Stars midfielder Sulley Muntari's recent decision to walk off the pitch after fans shouted racial slurs at him during a match between Pescara and Caglieri.
The high ranking UN official said that FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the international football governing body, needs to pay more attention to the continuing problem of racism in football games. He also added that his office had been in contact with FIFA over the recent incidents.
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According to Sulley Muntary, some supporters in the stands - including little children - had been shouting racist remarks at him from the beginning of the game. Insults the referee either didn't hear, or chose to do nothing about.
After the Ghanaian midfielder tried to talk to the fans involved, at one point telling them "this is my color". At this point the match referee took objection to Muntari's course of action, and told him to stop talking to the supporters. After the midfielder tried to tell the referee what was happening, he [the referee] ended up booking the midfielder for dissent.
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Sulley Muntari has also been handed a one game ban following the Pescara-Caglieri booking incident.
High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, commenting on the issue, referred to Sulley Muntari as "an inspiration to all of us here at the U.N. human rights office". Speaking to the media in Geneva, Mr. Zeid Ra'ad a-Hussein said, "added attention or deepened attention by FIFA,' he told reporters in Geneva".
The referee's controversial decision has received widespread condemnation from the public both in Ghana and abroad. With many football fans referring to the move as "disgraceful", and "unfair".
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