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Italian players’ union chief: Stop game if chanting is racist

The chief of Italian players’ union has stated that next Saturday’s Serie A game between Juventus and Inter Milan must be stopped if racist chanting is heard,

Juventus were forced to play a game behind closed doors last season after fans racially abused Inter’s Mario Balotelli but their supporters have again chanted against the black striker in recent matches ahead of the clash in Turin.

“It’s always difficult to suspend a match but if we want to beat this evil we shouldn’t fear doing it,” Sergio Campana told reporters.

“We have to give the captains the right to ask for the suspension of the game.”

Italian football federation chief Giancarlo Abete has said the referee, with the help of the police, will be able to stop the match for 10 minutes if there is racist chanting.

However, it is unclear what role the captains can play.

But Inter skipper Javier Zanetti has said he would not hesitate to approach the referee following racist abuse with his coach Jose Mourinho being wary of unilaterally pulling off his players in case his side is penalized.

Balotelli, born in Palermo, might not even be in Turin after being left out of Inter’s squad for Sunday’s 1-0 win over Fiorentina which sent the champions seven points clear.

Third-placed Juve, fined last week for the latest chants, are trying to control their fans but Italian football is rife with racism and reports says Juve’s own midfielder Mohamed Sissoko was abused by Cagliari supporters in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat.

Mon 30 November, 2009
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