Muntari says 'treated like criminal' after racial abuse

Doug Mendoza
May 20, 2017

The one-match ban imposed on Ghana's Sulley Ali Muntari for protesting racist abuse has been lifted following an appeal lodged by the Italian Footballers' Association.

Pescara's former Ghanaian worldwide midfielder was booked during last weekend's match against Cagliari after he reported the abuse to the referee, then cautioned again and dismissed after walking off the pitch in protest, resulting in a one-game ban.

An Italian FA statement said the body spoke to referee Daniele Minelli and decided "due to the particular delicacy of the subject matter and the inherent personal rights of the man before the athlete" it had chose to grant the appeal.

"Many people and organisations such as FIFPro and the United Nations supported me and I would like to thank everyone who assisted me", said Muntari, who can now play in Sunday's match at home to Crotone. I have felt angry and isolated.

"The player was forced to take action under his own volition because there was no support and the decision for him to be banned was clearly the wrong one".

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FIFPro had called for the bookings to be "rescinded", arguing that "Muntari was well within his rights to approach referee Daniele Minelli, as the first point of reference, to make his grievances known and seek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".

As a result, the official gave the Ghanaian a second yellow card, although the one-match ban Muntari received has now been overturned.

- Mr Yeboah (@ikejnr_23) May 1, 2017Still waiting to hear expressions of solidarity from a single Serie A player who isn't black.

Speaking after the match, the 32-year-old said: "What am I supposed to do?" The referee's not just there to stand on the pitch and blow his whistle - he has to manage everything. Muntari said on Sky Calcio after the game "That sets a bad culture". "You did everything right".

Other reports by GizPress

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