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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 1, 2006

Inter fans subject Zoro to racist abuse

MILAN, April 1 (Reuters) - Messina defender Marc Zoro, who threatened to walk off the field after suffering racist abuse from Inter Milan fans earlier this season, was the target of whistles and jeers again when the two teams met on Saturday.

Zoro's treatment by Inter fans in the game at Messina on November 27 prompted a nationwide debate on racism in Italian soccer and led to a day of anti-racist demonstrations at stadium's across the country.

In Milan on Saturday Inter's hardcore 'ultras' in the North stand chanted against the Ivory Coast-born defender when he entered the field to warm up and taunted him whenever he touched the ball.

However as the game, won 3-0 by Inter, progressed other home supporters objected to the abuse by whistling every time the ultras began a chant against Zoro.

'I'm not happy,' Zoro told Italy's Sky Sport. 'As soon as I ran on to the field they shouted all sorts of things at me and you could hear what happened when I touched the ball -- I think it is a disgrace,' he said.

'It was good in the second half that part of the stadium didn't accept that behaviour, they are people who know football shouldn't be like that,' he added.

Zoro said he had received a positive reaction in most stadiums since his threat to halt the home game in November.

'I was applauded at Treviso and it has been fine in other grounds -- it is only here that I've had this problem again,' he said.

The Messina defender said he hoped the sport's world governing body FIFA would fulfil its plans to get tough on racism.

'I can't do anything about it, I just have to play the game. The fans have to realise what they are doing and I hope that FIFA carry out their plans,' he said.

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