A former Ghana international, Sulley Ali Muntari, over the weekend walked off the pitch after racist chants were directed at him in the Italian top flight league, the Serie A.
Muntari, who plays for Pescara in the Italian league was booked for complaining about racist chanting.
The player defended his action after the game in an interview, “What am I supposed to do? Just stand there & let it go? That sets a bad culture. We need this to stop,” he said.
Reports indicate that he has also received a one-match ban for unceremoniously leaving the pitch. The opposing team, whose fans supposedly abused the player however escaped any punishment.
OFFICIAL: Sulley Muntari WILL receive a 1-match ban for complaining about racial abuse. Cagliari face no punishment.— SPORF (@Sporf) May 2, 2017
Unbelievable. 😳 pic.twitter.com/8nUy1K2SIk
But the former AC Milan player’s action has been widely hailed with the United Nations Human Rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein hailing him as an “inspiration”.
According to the UN top official, FIFA needed to pay greater attention to the persistent problem of racism at games.
“On my missions in many parts of the world, I see human rights defenders who are an inspiration to all of us, here at the U.N. Human Rights office, and they can help prevent the erosion of hard-won human rights principles.
“We need to see more done when it comes to expressions of racism at international or even national football grounds,” Zeid said.
Italy and part of the footballing world continue to struggle to stamp out racist chants at games.
FIFA last week fined Argentina, Mexico and Brazil for homophobic chants by their fans during recent matches.
FIFPro, a body that defends the rights of 65,000 professional footballers worldwide also gave their backing to the player and called for action on clamping down on racist fans.
FIFPro (@FIFPro) May 2, 2017