Napoli, October 5 (BNA) Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly said he was subjected to racist abuse by a group of Fiorentina fans after a Serie A match on Sunday.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Victor Osimhen and Andre Frank Zambo Anguisa were also targeted after their defeat to Napoli, Reuters reported.
Next to a photo of him gesturing to the crowd, Coulibaly said he heard the abuse from the stands and called for action.
On his Twitter and Instagram accounts, Coulibaly said: “…Monkey” – that’s what they called it. “These topics have nothing to do with sports.
“They must be identified and taken off the field: forever. #No to racism.”
Nigerian striker Osimene has released a statement via social media which the official Napoli team account has retweeted.
The Nigeria International wrote: “Talk to your children, your parents, and make them understand how disgusting it is to hate anyone because of the color of their skin.” No to Racism.”
Fiorentina condemned the incident on Monday.
“Fiorentina expresses its strongest condemnation and harshest cases of racism that occurred yesterday during the Napoli match,” Fiorentina said in a statement.
General Manager (Joe) Baroni, already after the match, apologized personally.
“La Viola (Fiorentina) has already made available to the police all the video images and all the tools in its possession so that the perpetrators of this unspeakable chant can be identified.
“Once the responsible institutions have identified the culprits, it will be Fiorentina’s own care to prevent them from reaching the stadium, hoping for the same commitment from all the clubs, as well as applying the rules which should always be the same for every one.”
The mayor of Florence also issued a statement on Monday.
“On behalf of Florence, I apologize,” Dario Nardella said on Twitter. “Anyone who offended Napoli players on the field yesterday does not represent the city and does not represent Fiorentina,” he added.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has opened an investigation into the incident.
“The Federal Prosecutor’s Office, having obtained the reports of its inspectors and heard the player, opened an investigation,” the federation said in a statement.
“In the next few hours, a further investigation will be carried out by obtaining the relevant documents from the Florence Police Headquarters.”
Italian football has been plagued by racism. Last month, prosecutors opened an investigation into alleged racist chants from Lazio supporters directed at AC Milan midfielders Timoue Bakayoko and Frank Kessie, while Juventus had to issue an apology after the women’s team’s account tweeted a photo containing a racist gesture in August.
Napoli came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory in Florence, maintaining their record of 100% at the start of the Serie A season to top the standings.