Italian FA passes new rules against racism after Koulibaly incident vs. Inter
The Italian FA (FIGC) has ratified a change in its anti-racism procedures which gives referees the power to take teams off the field of play after just one warning announcement.
Changes were called for after Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was subjected to monkey chants from Inter Milan fans during his side's 1-0 defeat on Boxing Day.
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said he had asked the fourth official three times to halt play, but despite an announcement being made, the abuse continued and became even more audible when Koulibaly received a red card late on in the fixture.
Although referees still do not have the power to abandon a game, with the chief of stadium security retaining that authority, they will in future be able to take the players back into the dressing room sooner than was previously permitted and the rule change was ratified at an FIGC board meeting, led by president Gabriele Gravina, on Wednesday.
In the event of racial discrimination or other forms of abuse, the referee will first be asked to congregate the teams in the centre circle while an announcement is made to the crowd.
Should there be a continuation of the abuse, he will then be able to lead the teams off. Previously, he was unable to take this step until three announcements had been made.
Koulibaly returned to San Siro at the weekend and again on Tuesday night as Napoli faced AC Milan in Serie A and in the Coppa Italia, but there were no reports of racist chanting in either of those fixtures.
Ancelotti has threatened he will take his team off if the referee does not intervene in any future incidences of racial or territorial discrimination.