Inter captain Mauro Icardi has condemned racism after the Nerazzurri received a two-match stadium ban following chants allegedly directed at Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti claimed in the wake of Inter’s 1-0 win at San Siro on Boxing Day that Koulibaly, who was sent off in the 80th minute, was subjected to racist chants.
Ancelotti also said his side requested the game be stopped on three occasions due to the abuse aimed at the Senegal international.
Lega Serie A announced on Thursday that Inter would have to play their next two home games behind closed doors, while the Curva Nord section of San Siro will be shut for a third match.
Koulibaly has received support from several high-profile Serie A players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, and shortly after Inter’s ban was revealed, Icardi offered his own backing to the Napoli defender.
“I am disappointed by what happened yesterday at San Siro,” Icardi posted, alongside a picture of himself with Koulibaly.
“Let’s say STOP to racism and discrimination.”
Inter also issued a statement on their official website, accompanied by a photograph of Koulibaly, which said: “In response to the events that took place during Inter versus Napoli on Wednesday evening and the consequent decision reached by the Lega Nazionale’s Sports Court for Serie A, the club would like to reaffirm that since 9 March 1908, Inter has represented integration, hospitality and progressiveness.
“These characteristics have defined the history of Milan – a city that stands for inclusion and respect.
“Together with our city, we have always been fighting to help create a future free of discrimination. We are committed to promoting these values wherever we operate and they have always been a source of pride for the club.
Since 1908, Inter has represented integration, innovation and progressiveness. The history of Milan is a welcoming one and together we are fighting to build a future without discrimination. Those who do not understand this history do not stand with us. #BrothersOfTheWorld #FCIM pic.twitter.com/lUok3qDgno
— Inter (@Inter_en) December 27, 2018
“Inter is present in 29 countries across the world, from Cambodia to Colombia, working with thousands of children involved in the Inter Campus project. The aim is to restore the right to play for those who are often in precarious circumstances – the importance of such activities has also been recognised by the United Nations.
“From that night 110 years ago when our founders set us on our journey, we have always said no to any form of discrimination.
“That is why we feel obliged today, once again, to reiterate that anyone who does not understand or accept our history – this club’s history – is not one of us.”
Inter’s supporters will not be allowed to attend their home games with Sassuolo and Bologna, while Empoli have confirmed they will refuse to sell tickets to the Nerazzurri fans when they host Luciano Spalletti’s side on Saturday.
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