AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan said “something must be done” about racial abuse in football after walking off the pitch during a Serie A match at Udinese.
The 28-year-old France international and his team-mates walked off the pitch during the first half on Saturday, Maignan apparently indicating to referee Fabio Marescan he had heard the abuse from the crowd at the Stadio Friuli.
“I heard them making monkey noises,” Maignan told Milan TV.
“After it happened a second time, I went to the dugout to inform them of what had happened behind the goal.
“This shouldn’t exist in the world of football, but unfortunately for many years this is a recurrence.
“We all have to react, we must do something because you can’t play like this.”
He continued: “We accept the boos because that’s how it is away from home, but this issue of racism must not reach this level.
“With all the cameras present and sanctions for these things, something must be done to change things.”
Once play resumed after a short break, Milan won 3-2 with substitute Noah Okafor grabbing the winner in added time.
Maignan received support on social media after the match, Milan posting on X, formerly Twitter: “There is absolutely no place in our game for racism: we are appalled. We are with you, Mike.”
Inter, leaders of Serie A, were quick to reply to the post in support of their city rivals.
The Nerazzurri added on X: “We are brothers of the world, against all forms of discrimination. By your side.”
The official account of the league, @SerieA, added: “The league condemns all forms of racism.”
France striker Kylian Mbappe said “enough is enough” as he posted a message of support to Maignan on X.
He said: “You are very far from being alone Mike Maignan. We are all with you.
“Still the same problems and still NO solution. Enough is enough. NO TO RACISM.”
Former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright applauded the “solidarity” in the Milan side and urged teams to “keep walking off” when they hear abuse and called for stronger sanctions.
He wrote on X: “We did ‘playing through it’ and nothing has changed. Points deductions needed, the fines are pointless.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub
Written by: Radio News Hub