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Racial Abuse: FIFA President Gianni Infantino calls for match forfeits

Mike Maignan (L) and FIFA President Infantino (R)

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, has called for automatic match forfeits for teams whose fans commit racial abuse during soccer games.

His response to the persistent issue of racial abuse in world football, is coming on the back of recent abuse directed at AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan on Saturday.

What happened

AC Milan players walked off the pitch during the Serie A game vs Udinese yesterday, following racial abuse directed at goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who was called a monkey several times by fans.

Mike Maignan


After the game, Maignan told AC Milan TV:

“I hear them making monkey noises. The first time, I didn’t say anything. The second time, I went to the dugout to inform them of what happened behind the goal.” 

Milan also released a statement after the game, which reads:

“We come back out with a greater desire to win the game because the best response to racism is to win.”

Meanwhile, in England, midfielder Kasey Palmer was also subject to a racist gesture during Coventry City’s 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Championship.

What did Infantino say?

Following the recent incidents of racial abuse directed at soccer players by fans, FIFA President Gianni Infantino issued a statement via Instagram:

“The events took place in Udine and Sheffield on Saturday are totally abhorrent and totally unacceptable. There is no place for racism or any form of discrimination – both in football and society.

…As well as the three-step process (match stop, match re-stopped, match abandoned), we have to implement an automatic forfeit for those whose team fans have committed racism and cause the match to be abandoned, as well as worldwide stadium bans and criminal charges for racists.”

FIFA and football shows full solidarity to victims of racism and any form of discrimination. Once and for all: No to racism No to any form of discrimination.”

Peter Okereke

Peter Okereke is a hardcore soccer fan and grew his passion for the beautiful game since watching Didier Drogba score the winning goal at Wembley in the 2007 FA Cup final for Chelsea against Manchester United.
He is the founder of The Soccer Report and has 4+ years of industry experience, having been writing about football since August 2019.

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