Former Inter Milan and Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari has claimed that he was ‘treated just like a criminal’ after he was subjected to racial abuse during a Serie A game.
The Ghanaian claims that racism is ‘everywhere and getting worse’, and has called on players to go on strike to fight back against the racists.
Muntari said: “I went through hell, I was treated just like a criminal. I went off the field because I felt it wasn’t right for me to be on the field while I have been racially abused.”
The 32 year old was initially banned for one game after he asked the referee Daniele Minelli to halt the game at the end of April.
Instead the midfielder was booked for dissent, which led to Muntari walking off the pitch and saw him receive a second yellow card.
His one match ban was eventually overturned by the Italian Football Federation.
Muntari intimated that he would walk off the pitch again if he was racially abused and urged other players to do the same.
— LastDitchTackle (@lastditchtackle) May 8, 2017
He added: “If I had this problem today, tomorrow or the next game I would go off again. And I’d recommend it to others. If they are not feeling it they should walk off.”
The Champions League winner also hit out at FIFA and UEFA saying that neither organisation was taking racism seriously.
“Fifa and Uefa only care about what they want to care about. If they want to fight racism they should be able to jump right in and tackle it,” he said. “But they have nothing to say about it. This is a big deal. Maybe the new president Infantino will do something about it. He has a different mind.
“I think he is capable of doing something in a good way to fight racism. I want him to fight racism.”
A Uefa statement said: “The fight to eliminate racism, discrimination and intolerance from football is a major priority for our organisation.
“Uefa condemns such deplorable behaviour and has always shown zero tolerance for any form of racism and discrimination.”