Ghana and Pescara midfielder, Sulley Muntari, has been banned for one game after he decided to walk off the pitch at Cagliari on Sunday, having been booked for complaining to the referee about racist abuse in the crowd.
Serie A’s disciplinary committee also said that no action would be taken against Cagliari because only around 10 supporters were involved in abusing Muntari.
Ghanaian midfielder Muntari said he suffered abuse throughout his side’s 1-0 defeat at Cagliari but was booked for dissent when he asked the match official to stop the game.
The 32-year-old walked off the pitch in protest shortly afterwards and was then given a second yellow card and sent off. The committee confirmed an automatic one-match ban, saying Muntari’s second yellow was for “abandoning the pitch without the referee’s permission”.
The committee described the chanting as deplorable but said it came from a part of the stadium occupied by 2,000 fans and that only around 10 were involved, not enough to warrant a punishment against the club under Serie A rules.
Earlier, the world players’ union FIFPro had called on Serie A to rescind Muntari’s first yellow card. “We urge Italian authorities to hear Muntari’s version of events, investigate why the situation was mismanaged, and take firm action to ensure this never happens again,” said FIFPro in a statement
“Muntari was well within his rights to approach referee Daniele Minelli, as the first point of reference, to make his grievances known and seek a solution. Professional footballers should expect to be adequately protected by the relevant authorities.”