icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
3 Apr, 2019 17:17

'Regardless of everything, no to racism': Bonucci accused of backtracking on Kean celebration row

'Regardless of everything, no to racism': Bonucci accused of backtracking on Kean celebration row

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has broken his silence since being scolded for suggesting teammate Moise Kean "provoked" monkey chants from Cagliari fans when celebrating a goal in their Serie A fixture on Tuesday.

Bonucci said the blame was "50/50" when the 19-year-old forward, who was born in Italy to Ivorian parents, reacted to consistent racist chants throughout the match by celebrating with outstretched arms in front of the Cagliari ultras 'Curva' after scoring an 85th minute goal to secure a 2-0 win.

READ MORE: 'There were racist jeers. The blame's 50-50': Bonucci says Kean partially at fault for monkey chants

“Kean knows that when he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his team-mates. He knows he could’ve done something differently too," Bonucci told Sky Sports Italia.

“There were racist jeers after the goal, Blaise [Matuidi] heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn’t have done that and the Curva should not have reacted that way. We are professionals, we have to set the example and not provoke anyone,” he added.

The 31-year-old was ridiculed –almost unanimously– by the footballing world, including journalists and former pros, for laying any blame with the abused player. 

Those words seemed to have carried weight all the way to Bonucci, who broke his silence on the backlash by posting a picture of himself and Kean sharing an embrace on international duty for Italy, with the caption "Regardless of everything, in any case, no to racism."

However, some have taken his words as a mealy-mouthed apology that smacks of backtracking, and that his initial comments had already done enough damage, and also carried a hint of hypocrisy.