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28 Dec, 2018 10:31

'Don’t react to this bullsh*t!': Football world unites over Koulibaly monkey chants

'Don’t react to this bullsh*t!': Football world unites over Koulibaly monkey chants

The football world has been united in its condemnation of monkey chants from Inter Milan fans towards Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, with prominent figures including Mo Salah insisting racism has “no place” in the game.

READ MORE: Inter Milan to play two games behind closed doors following racist slurs from stands

Koulibaly, who is currently one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe, was targeted by Inter Milan fans with the chants during a Serie A game at San Siro on Wednesday, suffering abuse from the home support throughout the match. The chants intensified when the 27-year-old was sent off with ten minutes to go in the match for sarcastically clapping the referee.

Also on rt.com Napoli repeatedly requested halt of Inter match due to racist chanting from crowd

Inter, who won the game 1-0 by virtue of a 91st-minute goal from Lautaro Martinez, were then slapped with a two-game stadium ban which forced them to hold their next couple of home games behind closed doors, with a third game having 'curva' section, which houses Inter Milan's 'ultra' fans.

In a surprise twist, Senegal international Koulibaly will also face a two-game suspension for his sending off, which raised eyebrows about the Italian league’s punishment system and overall attitude in dealing with racism towards its players.

A host of prominent football figures spoke out on the incident, including Liverpool's 'Egyptian King' Mo Salah, who tweeted: "There’s no place for racism in football. There’s no place for racism anywhere at all."

He was joined by Koulibaly teammate Dries Marten, who posted a heartwarming picture fo the two sharing an embrace, with the caption: "You’re one of the most beautiful people I know, please never change. Don’t react to this b*llshit. Let’s stand together!" 

A host of other famous names and faces also showed their support, including Juventus' 5-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who posted to Instagram: "In the world and in football I always want education and respect. No to racism and any offense and discrimination!!!"

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund were one of the club sides keen to show their support to the player, and drew attention to their 'Borussia Unites' anti-racism campaign. However, some football fans were criticized about their choice of protest, as a supporter was snapped holding an anti-racist banner in blackface. 

Koulibaly's manager Carlo Ancelotti was praised by anti-racism groups for his comments made after the game in which he expressed his desire for the game to be suspended given the chants: "We asked three times for the match to be suspended and there were three announcements, but the match continued," he told Sky.

"The player was irritable, he wasn’t in the best state of mind. Usually he’s a very calm and professional player but there were these noises throughout the game.

'Don’t react to this bullsh*t!': Football world unites over Koulibaly monkey chants

"It looks like an excuse but the player was agitated and irritable. It’s not good, not for us, nor for Italian football.

"The solution exists. You have to stop the match. You just have to know when, after how many announcements. And if we don’t know, then next time we may have to stop play ourselves."