Brit football boss slams 'vulgar' Italian racism

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Antony Armstrong Emery bought AC Monza Brianza at the end of last season. Photo: Samstreet133/Wikicommons
10:17 CEST+02:00
An Italian football team has taken a bold step in fighting racism following a series of high-profile racist attacks within football and politics.

Players for AC Monza Brianza, a northern Italian squad, will carry a “Stop Racism” message on the back of their team jackets from now on.

The idea came from British businessman and president Antony Armstrong Emery, who bought the Lega Pro club at the end of last season.

“When I arrived in Italy, I realized this vulgar phenomenon is very present, especially in football, but also in politics as highlighted by the attacks on the minister Cécile Kyenge.”

Emery added that football is “too often identified with business and money...I want to change things and make sure we use the playing field to spread important messages.”

He hopes the move will “bear fruit among fans, who might be promoters of other initiatives on this issue.”

Milan footballers Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng are often subjected to racism chants on the pitch. After one attack, Boateng simply kicked the ball towards the chanters, took off his shirt and left the pitch. His teammates did the same and the game was abandoned.

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Kyenge’s first term as integration minister has also been blighted by racial attacks. Northern league minister Roberto Calderoli sparked a storm in July when he likened Kyenge to an "orangutan".

An award-winning winemaker, Fulvio Bressan, also called Kyenge a “dirty black monkey” in a racist rant on Facebook last week. 

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