Sulley Muntari's ban over racist abuse protest overturned by Italy FA

Posted May 06, 2017

The one-match ban imposed on Ghana's Sulley Ali Muntari for protesting racist abuse has been lifted following an appeal lodged by the Italian Footballers' Association.

Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch in protest during his side's Serie A match at Cagliari after being booked for complaining to the referee about racist abuse from fans. He was subsequently handed a one-match ban by Serie A's disciplinary committee.

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An Italian FA statement said the body spoke to referee Daniele Minelli and decided "due to the particular delicacy of the subject matter and the inherent personal rights of the man before the athlete" it had made a decision to grant the appeal.

The 32-year-old was suspended after leaving the field of play against Cagliari last Sunday, having been the subject of racist abuse from fans at the Stadio Sant'Elia.

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"They were chanting against me from the start, then in the first half I saw in the group there were some children and the parents said nothing", Muntari explained to Sky Sport Italia after the game.

Muntari said he heard racial slurs from a section of the home supporters and brought the incident to the attention of referee Daniele Minelli, pointing to his skin and demanding the match be stopped.

Soccer's global players' union has been lobbying Italian authorities and said "common sense has prevailed".

"For the lad to have been racially abused is bad enough but to receive a ban as well because the correct protocol had not been carried out was very unfair, to say the least".

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