Napoli strongly condemns that FIGC wasted the opportunity to battle against racism after they rejected the appeal of Kalidou Koulibaly for his controversial red card in the match against Inter Milan. During the Boxing Day match at San Siro, Koulibaly received two successive yellow cards after he sarcastically applauded the decision of the referee. And now, his club Napoli slam the decision of the officials.
According to the Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti, Kalidou Koulibaly was a bit “nervous and the mood at the time was not his best” as he suffered racial abuses throughout the Inter Milan game. Napoli also condemns the decision of the officials while stating that the match should have been suspended as continuous taunts were coming from the crowd that day.
Napoli condemning the decision of FIGC
While condemning the decision of FIGC, Napoli issued an official statement that reads “The decision of the FIGC appeals court to turn down our appeal against Koulibaly’s ban is a sad defeat both for football and the wider issue raised by this whole affair, namely, the fight against discrimination of all sorts, which is still part of football and society.”
They then wrote “A battle that UEFA has been fighting for years – and which Napoli has always supported – has thus been degraded,” and then added “UEFA and FIFA have condemned what happened, saying that protocol was not respected and that the match should have been suspended. All manner of public figures, from mayors to artists, footballers and coaches have offered their solidarity while expressing their indignation.”
Kalidou Koulibaly playing against Inter Milan
Napoli also stated “Then there was the appeal itself, where the judges said they are completely aware of what happened and that they are on Koulibaly’s side as a man. They encouraged him not to give up or feel alone, which, he explained, in a sincere and moving speech, is how he felt that evening. Just as he explained to the judges how embarrassed he felt when he had to tell his parents, and his mother in particular, what had happened.”
The club also condemns the decision while stating “After all these extraordinary events, the appeal was turned down. A procedural rule was incapable of doing the only thing there was to do: give back to Kalidou Koulibaly – this Senegalese lad who, in light of these events, represents everything that is good and bad in Italy at the moment – the dignity he deserves.”