In a bid to stamp out racism from Italian football, all 20 Italian Serie A League teams have come out to write an open letter to fans, stating racism is a deep-rooted problem that must be stamped out of Italian football if the sport is to grow.
Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, Brescia’s Mario Balotelli, Napoli’s Koulibali and former Juventus player Moise Kean are among the elite group of black football players that have suffered racist chants and abuses in the past.
Even Massimo Cellino, the owner of Brescia FC, where Balotelli plays for, racially abused his own player when he made a statement suggesting Balotelli’s performance is as a result of his skin colour.
“He’s black, what can I say, he’s working on clearing himself but he’s having a lot of difficulty,” Cellino said.
This incident and much more has led the management of the 20 Serie A clubs to take action by writing the open letter.
The letter, whose creation was driven by AC Milan, is addressed to ‘all those who love Italian football,’ and says ‘we have to publicly recognise that we have a serious problem with racism.’
The letter reads;
“An open letter to all those who love Italian football
“We have to publicly recognise that we have a serious problem with racism.
“It’s a problem that we have not done enough to combat over the years.
“Images of players being racially abused in Italian football have been viewed and discussed all around the world this season and that shames us all.
“No individual should ever be subjected to racist abuse – inside or outside of football – and we can no longer stay silent on this issue or wait for it to magically disappear.
“Driven by the clubs, positive conversations have been held in recent weeks with Lega Serie A, FIGC and international experts on how to tackle and eradicate this issue from the game.
“We, the undersigned clubs, are united by our desire for serious change and Lega Serie A has stated its intention to lead the way by delivering a comprehensive and robust Serie A anti-racism policy, stricter new laws and regulations and a plan for educating those within the game about the scourge of racism.
“We don’t have any more time to waste.
“We must now act with speed, with purpose and with unity and we call on you, the fans, to support us in this vitally important endeavour.
“Atalanta, Bologna, Brescia, Cagliari, Fiorentina, Genoa, Hellas Verona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Lecce, AC Milan, Napoli, Parma, AS Roma, Sampdoria, Sassuolo, SPAL, Torino, Udinese.”