Cagliari fans not racist despite Sulley Muntari abuse - club president
Cagliari president Tommaso Giuntoli has said the club's fans are not racist despite Pescara's Sulley Muntari being subjected to racial abuse.
The Serie A club were absolved by the Lega Serie A for the racist chanting which prompted Muntari to leave the field during Sunday's league clash with Pescara since only a minority had been heard making the chants.
A statement by the league's disciplinary committee said that the acts of around 10 people had been accentuated by the fact that the rest of the stadium was silent at the time, and Giuntoli says that those 10 people do not represent true Cagliari fans.
"Our people are not and have never been racist," he told Mediaset. "I think it's banal for me to have to remind people that. I'm sorry for what happened to Muntari, even if it is worth remembering that it really was by only a few individuals."
While Cagliari will not be punished for the incident, Muntari has been banned for one game for receiving two yellow cards -- the first when he tried to bring the referee's attention to the chanting and the second for leaving the field without permission.
"It would be totally incorrect for the president of the Italian FA to make any comment regarding the disciplinary decisions of the Lega Serie A," FA president Carlo Tavecchio told Mediaset. "That would be wrong."
Kick It Out condemned the Lega's stance on the incident and, in a statement published on its website, called on "every self-respecting black player in the Italian League not to play this weekend unless the Italian authorities withdraw the ban on Sulley Muntari."
"The gutless failure not to take action by the Italian authorities should not be allowed to pass," its statement said. "It's unbelievable that Cagliari escaped punishment as 'only 10' fans were involved. This situation should never be allowed to happen again."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.