AC Milan goalkeeper Maignan confronts racist monkey noises in Serie A clash

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FOOTBALL AC Milan goalkeeper Maignan confronts racist monkey noises in Serie A clash

Festus Chuma 15:45 - 21.01.2024

AC Milan's Mike Maignan walked off the pitch in protest against racist monkey noises during a Serie A match.

AC Milan’s French goalkeeper Mike Maignan made a profound statement against racism during a Serie A match against Udinese at Bluenergy Stadium in Udine, Italy.

The game, which took place on Saturday, was marred by alleged racist chants directed towards Maignan from the opposing fans, leading to a significant interruption in the 33rd minute of the match.

Maignan, 28, who is Black, was subjected to "monkey noises" from the crowd during his first and second goal kicks.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italy after the match, Maignan expressed his frustration and disappointment.

"The moment I took the ball for my first goal kick, I heard monkey noises. I tried to ignore it, but it happened again on the second goal kick," Maignan said.

The goalkeeper emphasized the need for strong sanctions, stating, "Talking no longer does anything. We have to say that what they are doing is wrong."

The incident reached a tipping point when Maignan informed the referee, Fabio Maresca, of the abuse.

Maresca halted the game, and Maignan, followed by his teammates, walked off the pitch and down the players’ tunnel.

This bold move by Maignan and the solidarity shown by his team highlights the growing intolerance for racism in football.

The match resumed after less than ten minutes, and Milan secured a dramatic 3-2 victory in the final minutes. F

Following the match, AC Milan expressed their support for Maignan with a strong message on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

"There is absolutely no place in our game for racism: we are appalled. We are with you, Mike," the club posted.

The league, Lega Serie A, also condemned the incident, reaffirming its stance against racism.

"Lega Serie A condemns any form of racism," the league stated on X.

This incident comes just a week after Lazio faced a one-match stand closure for racist chants directed at Romelu Lukaku during an Italian Cup match against Roma.

Italian football authorities are now set to review the referee’s match report and other evidence to determine an appropriate punishment for Udinese.

This examination will be crucial in setting a precedent for how the league handles similar incidents in the future. 

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