Italy: Five-year stadium ban for racist shouts towards Maignan

source: Gazetta, Udinese, Sky News; author: Miguel Ciołczyk Garcia

Italy: Five-year stadium ban for racist shouts towards Maignan The Italian prosecutor's office has sentenced to a five-year stadium ban a man who insulted AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan during a match against Udinese on January 20. In addition, for the rest of his life he will only watch the matches of his favourite team at best... on TV. More sentences can come.


Racist shouts an expression of powerlessness

Udinese Calcio, playing at Stadio Friuli, faced AC Milan at home on Saturday. The Milan team is 3rd in the league, while the Udine team is 16th. The first goal was scored by Rossonieri midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the 31st minute, but after a while it was interrupted due to insults directed from the stands at goalkeeper Mike Maignan. Whistles and booing followed moments later.

Offended by the behaviour of the rival fans, the player walked off the pitch, followed by his teammates. After some time the match resumed and the hosts went into the lead in the second half, but AC Milan responded well, drawing the match and, in added time, scoring the winning goal for 2-3 after a moment of chaos in Udinese's penalty area.

Maignan told DAZN after the match "They were making monkey noises and it's not the first time this has happened to me". Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi described the chants as disgusting.

Dacia Arena (Stadio Friuli)© Elio Meroi

Perpetrator of incident identified and punished

The incident of noise-making has backfired, with the goalkeeper backed up by his Udinese counterpart Daniele Padelli, who did not play in Saturday's game, delivering words of consolation on social media and clearly declaring NO TO RASISM. He called the man who taunted Maignan an idiot.

Meanwhile, the Udine Public Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that it has taken legal action against the suspect, in addition to a stadium exclusion, under the provision for prosecuting violence on racial, ethnic, national or religious grounds. He is said to be a 46-year-old criminal. The police and the club are now focusing on checking whether other people were also involved in the incident.

Dacia Arena (Stadio Friuli)© Udinese Calcio

The club will not show mercy

An announcement was posted on the club's website on Monday, asserting the institution's opposition to discrimination and announcing that the police already have access to video footage from the venue and announcing that the perpetrator would be immediately punished upon identification with an indefinite ban from Stadio Friuli.

Udine general manager Franco Collavino explained: DASPO, editor's note: the legal measure to ban access to sporting events, has a limited duration, but the club can decide to exclude a fan from the stadium for a longer period of time. He pointed out that whistling and booing are part of the dynamics of the stadium and that the insults were committed by a maximum of a few people.

Dacia Arena (Stadio Friuli)© Udinese Calcio

Fans protest against “denigration”

Meanwhile, Club Nord, an association of fans, protested in a statement against denigration by the media, saying that the incidental behaviour of individuals does not reflect the fan community. It also stressed that: many Udinese players are black and no one has ever complained about racist behaviour in the stadium.

Meanwhile, Udinese have been fined with a ban for fans from their next league match against AC Monza on February 3. This is not the first time the whole club suffers because of the stupidity of a few fans. Especially as Udinese barely escapes the relegation zone.