Follow The Sportsman on Facebook
Football  /
Stats Powered By

Cristiano Ronaldo, Liverpool And Manchester City Stars Issue Messages Of Support For Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly was the target of repulsive verbal attacks by Inter Milan fans this week
Kalidou Koulibaly was the target of repulsive verbal attacks by Inter Milan fans this week

The return to St Stephen’s Day football in the Italian top tier for the first time since 1971 will now be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

The San Siro and the Serie A match between Inter Milan and Napoli was the setting for yet more unpleasant scenes as once against racism failed to be curtailed and unfortunately Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly took the brunt force of it.

Senegal international Koulibaly, or ‘K2’ as he’s affectionately known, was subject to disgusting, moronic chants from a certain section of the Internazionale crowd infiltrated with so-called ‘ultras’.

"Monkey chants" were heard throughout the match from the Inter support in his direction and Koulibaly was eventually sent off after receiving two yellow cards – the second for sarcastically applauding referee Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni – after the 80th minute, with the home side eventually seeing out a 1-0 win against the 10-men.

The Napoli defender has been given a two-match man nonetheless, in a move that doesn’t shine the most positive light on the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) who have failed once again to take a hard stance against racism. It has emerged that the rule in Italy is that if fans are given a warning and still they abuse the player, the game should be called off. (FootballFactly)

On Wednesday night in Milan, Inter fans were given three warnings but persisted with their verbal abuse of Koulibaly. The game went on.

Koulibaly’s manager Carlo Ancelotti has declared that if any of his players had to suffer that level of abuse again during a match he will force his side off, even if it means forfeiting the result. Ancelotti had asked for the match to be suspended beforehand following clashes between supporters that left one fan dead.

As punishment for the alleged racist abuse, Inter Milan will play two home league games behind closed doors. The Nerazzurri will also play a third match at the San Siro without opening the 'curva' section of the ground, where the ultra fans are known to congregate (BBC Sport).

With their side winning 1-0 - through an extra time winner - , taking the three points, and additionally the ‘icing on their cake’ of seeing the target of their vitriol being sent off it seems however the scum support have had the last laugh.

However the leniency of the repercussions on Inter Milan has been greeted with condemnation from the football community with a number of players expressing support for Koulibaly on social media.

Cristiano Ronaldo - now of Napoli's Serie A rivals Juventus - wrote in Italian underneath a picture of the two together on Instagram:

"Education and respect are needed in the world and in football. No to racism and to any offence and discrimination"

Liverpool star and incumbent PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) captioned a picture of him playing against K2 in a Champions League match with;

"There’s no place for racism in football. There’s no place for racism anywhere at all."

Koulibaly’s international teammate Sadio Mane issued a message via Instagram which said,

“I am bitter not to say bruised and dismayed by what you have experienced.

“But I know you well enough that these abominable acts will not reach you at all.

“We are proud of our race and we will continue to defend it as we defend the colours of our homeland.

“You reminded the world that identity does not compartmentalize.”

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) also expressed his outrage and brought to attention that the incident is far from limited to Italian football;

‘Really!? Koulibaly racially abused at San Siro. Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge.. This is unacceptable! Elected politicians set the tone with divisive rhetoric granted but some level of reason has to return! Respect Ancelotti and Napoli teammates for post match comments.”

Koulibaly’s teammate Dries Mertens (@dries_mertens14) selected a picture of the two together and unabashedly stated;

"You’re one of the most beautiful people I know, please never change. Don’t react to this b*llshit. Let’s stand together! #notoracism

Koulibaly, demonstrating the exact character as to why he’s identified as one of best footballers in the world himself declared in the immediate aftermath of the atrocious incident;

“I'm proud of the colour of my skin. To be French, Senegalese, Neapolitan, and a man.”

Damn right.

Register with The Sportsman to personalise your news feed with your favourite sports and team.
Latest Football Articles
Bet Slip
Log In
Quick Deposit
Deposit Funds
Change Payment Method
Bet Placed
Retain Selections
Clear Slip
Free Bets
Bet Slip 0
| Join Now
Balance: £0.00
Log Out
The line, odds or availability of your selections has changed.
Remove All
Click a price to add a selection
To view multiples
Multiple options are restricted for the highlighted selections
The line, odds or availability of your selections has changed.
Accept Changes
Total Stake:
£ 0.00

Estimated Returns:
£ 0.00
£ Place Bet
Bet on Bet365 website
New To Bet365?
Bets are accepted in accordance with the operator's rules
and terms and conditions. Hillside (UK Sports) LP is licensed
and regulated by the British Gambling Commissioner
(Licence number 39563). Registered Office Hillside (UK Sports) LP
(registration number 117), Unit 1.1, First Floor, Waterport Place,
2 Europort Avenue, Gibraltar.
BET365 ACCOUNT? New Customer Offer
The Sportsman is an officially endorsed bet365 betting partner. All bets are placed securely via our API link-up with bet365 and no data or transactional information is sahred with or accessible by the sportsman.com. Bets are accepted in accordance with the operator's Rules and Terms and Conditions.