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Franck Kessie Suffers Racist Abuse from the Hellas Verona Fans at the Bentegodi

The Ivorian midfielder was racially abused in the encounter at the Bentegodi and there has been no comment thus far.

Hellas Verona v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

AC Milan took on Hellas Verona at the Bentegodi last night, the fixture was relatively boring and had a few VAR incidents however there was a standout disappointment. Racist chants could be heard over the television and were confirmed by multiple sources from the Verona fans aimed at Milan’s Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie. The shameful chants have not been addressed by the Italian Federation yet and come after a terrible display by Cagliari fans last round aimed at Romelu Lukaku.

Racism in Italian Football is a problem that needs to be tackled, players are subjected to abuse week in and out with no action against the fans who are destroying the stadium atmosphere and hurling racist abuse at players. There have been jokes on social media regarding the priorities of the FIGC who are taking a strong stance against digital piracy yet remain silent on a larger systemic issue.

The current season has not even cracked a month but there have been numerous cases of abuse hurled at players that include Raheem Sterling at Wembley by Bulgarian fans, Tammy Abraham online, Lukaku and Kessie at Serie A games and many others cases that do not hit the headlines. The impact of this on the players is often underplayed and the abusers are given a pass. Something needs to change and the federations and clubs need to lead this change, there is no room for racism in football.

Additional Reading:

  • Tammy Abraham's mom wept for her son over racial abuse. [CNN]
  • Lukaku calls for more action against racism. [Al Jazeera]
  • Wilfred Zaha says he faces racist abuse nearly every game. [The Independent]
  • Kevin-Prince Boateng angry at lack of action against racism. [The Guardian]
  • Kalidou Koulibaly calls for stronger punishment against racism. [ESPN]