- Deputy Sports Minister has condemned the one match ban on Sulley Muntari after protesting racial abuse
- The ban has also been condemned by former English Premier League player, Garth Anthony Crooks
Mr. Pius Enam Hadzide, Deputy Sports Minister, has condemned Caglieri Football Club's fans for racially abusing Sulley Muntari during a league match.
Earlier this week, Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari had received a yellow card after trying to draw the match referees attention to a section of fans who had been racially abusing him.
The match referee gave the midfielder a yellow card for dissent follow his decision to confront the fans involved saying, "This is my color". This added to his asking the referee to stop the game made the referee uphold his initial booking.
Upon receiving the booking, Sulley Muntari decided to walk off the pitch in protest of the bookings, a act that ended up getting him a second booking and a one match ban.
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Commenting on the issue on his Facebook page, Deputy Minister Hadzide condemned the clubs course of action against the former Ghanaian International player. He clarififed that, “We are not blacks and we are not monkeys; we are Africans, proud Africans," adding that African fans counted on the vigilance of football associations to root out the "cancer" from an otherwise "beautiful" game.
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The controversial on Sulley Muntari has garner staunch criticism from football fans and player associations alike. Mr. Garth Crooks, former English Premier League football player and independent trustee of Kick It Out (an anti-racial discrimination association), told the BBC that he was calling on all players to boycott Italian league matches in solidarity with the Ghanaian midfielder.
"I'm calling on players in Italy, black and white, to make it absolutely clear to the federation in Italy that their position is unacceptable, and if the decision is not reversed then they withdraw their services until it is."
Kick It Out itself also tweeted concerning the issue, calling the authorities "Gutless" over their lack of support for the Ghanaian midfielder.
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