Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly will miss the Serie A fixture at home to Lazio on Sunday after Napoli’s appeal against his red card in the defeat at Inter Milan was rejected.
Napoli had contested the decision on the grounds of wrongful dismissal because the player was sent off after approaching the referee because of alleged racist chanting.
He missed the 3-2 victory over Bologna three days later as a result of the red card he was shown ‘for sarcastically applauding a referee’s decision’.
“The unacceptable atmosphere created inside the stadium during this match does not justify and can not be used by an athlete to ridicule the referee or justify an act of violence,” the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said.
Disappointed Napoli, who were hoping to get his suspension lifted, say the FIGC ‘missed a great opportunity’ to fight racism after the club’s appeal was rejected.
“The decision of the FIGC appeals court to turn down our appeal against Koulibaly’s ban is a sad defeat both for football and the wider issue raised by this whole affair, namely, the fight against discrimination of all sorts, which is still part of football and society,” Napoli wrote in a statement.
“After all these extraordinary events, the appeal was turned down. A procedural rule was incapable of doing the only thing there was to do: give back to Kalidou Koulibaly – this Senegalese lad who, in light of these events, represents everything that is good and bad in Italy at the moment – the dignity he deserves.
“Koulibaly, Italian football and the institutions all come out of this degraded. Koulibaly’s ban should have been overturned regardless of the rules and the bureaucracy. All this does is kill football. Because football is above all a passion that unites billions of people around the world, and it should not be derided like this.
“A great opportunity has been missed today. Sadly it proves there is still much to do and many things to change.”
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti said he asked for the match to be suspended three times and that Koulibaly was targeted in the 1-0 defeat on Boxing Day.
Inter Milan were ordered to play two home league games behind closed doors following the incident.
The Italian side will also play a third match at the San Siro without opening the ‘curva’ section of the ground, popular with fans known as ‘ultras’.
Source link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46935216
Publish date : 2019-01-19 19:30:01