A top United Nations human rights official hailed Pescara’s Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari for walking out of the club’s game against Cagliari amid racists chants from the stands targeting him.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein labeled Muntari an “inspiration” for his move to leave the pitch after the referee booked him for complaining about racist chants.
Zeid urged FIFA to pay greater attention to the persistent problem of racism in games, saying that his office had been in touch with the soccer’s governing body.
Muntari said he had complained that parts of the crowd, including a group of children, had hurled racist insults at him from the start of his Italian team’s game at Cagliari in Serie A on Sunday.
The player said the referee then told him to stop talking to the crowd and ended up showing him the yellow card for dissent in the 90th minute.
By the time Muntari walked out, Pescara was trailing Cagliari by a solitary goal scored by Joao Pedro in the 23rd minute. That went on to be the final score of the match.
Italy and other countries have struggled to stamp out racist chants at games. In 2013, the AC Milan team left the pitch during a friendly in the town of Busto Arsizio after home fans insulted midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, another Ghanaian.