Infantino condemns Muntari racist abuse, vows to review FIGC approach
Sulley Muntari's possible return to the field on Sunday with Serie A strugglers Pescara will be keenly watched, not for his actions but rather those of spectators after the Ghana international won further support for his fight against racism in the terraces.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is the latest to condemn the insults hurled at the veteran midfielder some 10 days ago that led to Muntari's walking off at the end of a game against Cagliari.
The leader of world football's governing body has also promised to talk to the Italian Football Federation who have also been roundly criticised for initially banning Muntari for his protestations before rescinding the decision in the face worldwide criticism.
Infantino, speaking to reporters before the start of the FIFA Congress in Bahrain, called those who insulted Muntari "idiots" and reminded all of the process of handling such incitements.
"The three step process (is) stop the game, make an announcement, stop the game a while, get the players out," Infantino began. "Unfortunately there are always idiots everywhere but we have to fight them, we have to continue to fight.
"It's good to bring these things out when they happen. We have to work."
Infantino also said he wanted to meet with Muntari and would have a word with the Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio to discuss the decision to ban the player for one match, which was subsequently rescinded on appeal by the Italian federation.
FIFPro, the worldwide players' union, said in a statement that Muntari was badly let down when he received two yellow cards after he unsuccessfully sought help from the referee over racist abuse while playing for Pescara in Cagliari on April 30.
"FIFPro is surprised that Muntari's club, Pescara, did not lodge an appeal to overturn the sanction," the statement began [as per Goal]. "It took a last-minute appeal by the Ghanaian himself, assisted by the Italian players union, Associazione Italiana Calciatori (AIC), to have the ban rescinded."
In comments to FIFPro, Muntari expressed relief that the ban had been overturned although Pescara left him on the bench on Sunday when they were beaten at home by Crotone.
"I feel that someone has finally listened and heard me. The last few days have been very hard for me. I have felt angry and isolated.
"I was being treated like a criminal. How could I be punished when I was the victim of racism?
"I hope my case can help so that other footballers do not suffer like me," Muntari continued. "I hope it can be a turning point in Italy and show the world what it means to stand up for your rights.
"This is an important victory to send a message that there's no place for racism in football, or society in general."
Already relegated Pescara have three more matches to play this season -- at Bologna this Sunday, at home against Palermo on May 22 and finally away at Fiorentina on May 28.