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Aug 2, 2013

Police: No racist abuse of Constant

AC Milan defender Kevin Constant had no justification for leaving the field during a pre-season match in Reggio Emilia, a police investigation has found.

Kevin Constant has moved to AC Milan permanently.
Constant said he was racially abused by the crowd during the game against Sassuolo.

But earlier this week, the Italian Football Association (FIGC) fined Sassuolo €30,000 "due to the racially discriminatory shouts and chants aimed at a player from the opposition’s team”.

The incident happened as Milan played Sassuolo during the Trofeo Tim tournament at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore.

With the teams level at 1-1, he kicked the ball into the crowd and left the pitch, alleging crowd racism, as team-mate Daniel Bonera attempted, without success, to persuade him to carry on.

Local police have analysed television footage and gathered evidence from officers and stewards who were inside the stadium.

"There was only sporadic abusive language from normal spectators and not from organised fan groups," the findings said. "Some Sassuolo fans were inciting the player Constant not to waste time with a throw-in, shouting: 'Come on, move it' and: 'Get a move on.'

"One Sassuolo fan in particular shouted: 'Come on salami, get a move on' while another said: 'Get a nose job.'

The Gazzetta dello Sport said the FIGC sanction against Sassuolo had been based on referee Andrea Gervasoni's report, and that Gervasoni may have been led, in good faith, to include the term 'racial insults' in his match report on the basis of what was said to him by Constant.

The police findings were not taken into consideration in the decision to fine Sassuolo. Juventus, whose fans were also accused of racial chants during a penalty shoot-out against AC Milan at the same event, were also fined.

That incident was also mentioned in Gervasoni's match report, but police found it was just a "general disturbance aimed at all Milan penalty-takers by the Juve fans".