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Sulley Muntari has also played for Portsmouth, Sunderland and Inter Milan Sulley Muntari has also played for Portsmouth, Sunderland and Inter Milan Image sourced at

Sulley Muntari Says Fifa And Uefa 'Not Taking Racism Seriously'

Written by May 09, 2017

Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari says he would walk off the pitch again, adding that Fifa and Uefa are "not taking racism seriously".

The Pescara player, 32, was sent off after leaving the field claiming he was racially abused during a Serie A game.

In a BBC interview, the ex-Portsmouth player claims racism is "everywhere and getting worse", and encourages players to go on strike to combat it.

"I went through hell, I was treated just like a criminal," he said.

"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," he told BBC Sport's David Ornstein.

Muntari was initially banned for one game after asking referee Daniele Minelli to stop the Italian top-flight game at Cagliari on 30 April.

The ex-Ghana international was instead booked for dissent in the 89th minute, prompting him to leave the pitch in protest, and he then received another yellow card.

He angrily confronted Cagliari fans, shouting: "This is my colour."

Muntari had the one-match ban overturned after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said it had considered the "particular delicacy" of the case.

He says he would walk off the pitch again if he was racially abused and he has urged other players to do the same.

"If I had this problem today, tomorrow or the next game I would go off again," he said.

"And I'd recommend it to others. If they are not feeling it they should walk off."

Italian football's reputation around the world has been damaged by the incident, said FIGC anti-racism advisor Fiona May before Muntari's suspension had been reversed.

Meanwhile, Juventus' Morocco defender Medhi Benatia cut short a post-match television interview on Sunday after claiming to hear a racist insult in his earpiece.

World governing body Fifa and Uefa, its European counterpart, point out that the Muntari case was dealt with by the FIGC.

Muntari believes the two organisations are "not taking racism seriously", but backs Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who replaced Sepp Blatter in February 2016.

"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."

Last week, Fifa said it would "like to express full solidarity with Muntari."

"Any form of racism on or outside the field is totally unacceptable and has no place in football. As to the disciplinary consequences, this falls under the jurisdiction of the relevant national body," it added.

Former Portsmouth and Sunderland player Muntari says he never experienced racist abuse in the Premier League and has urged other countries to follow England's example of combating the problem.

"I never heard anything like that in England because I think they don't tolerate it," he said.

"The people who are racist are really scared to do it in a stadium because they will get prosecuted or banned. But in Italy they go free.

"England is the example for the world. If a country doesn't tolerate it then it means you get rid of it."

Foreign players are more likely to experience some form of discrimination than domestic footballers, a survey by world players' union Fifpro found in 2016.


The survey, of nearly 14,000 players in 54 countries, found that 17.2% of players based abroad have experienced discrimination, with the figure rising to 32% in Italy.

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