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.” 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. “My message is anyone who is abused should not be scared to talk, you should speak out,” added Muntari. “You should not be scared of anybody, you are strong, you should say whatever you want to say.”
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.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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