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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 April 2019

Inter Milan to play two league home games behind closed doors after racist chants aimed at Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly

Koulibaly was subjected to monkey noises from San Siro crowd several times during Inter's 1-0 win on Wednesday

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly leaves the pitch after receiving a red card against Inter Milan. AFP
Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly leaves the pitch after receiving a red card against Inter Milan. AFP

Inter Milan will play two Serie A home matches behind closed doors as punishment for the racist chants directed towards Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, the Italian league announced on Thursday.

Koulibaly was subjected to monkey noises from the crowd several times during Inter's 1-0 win at the San Siro on Wednesday, leading Napoli to ask for the match to be halted, without success.

Koulibaly was sent off 10 minutes from the end of the game at the San Siro, with substitute Lautaro Martinez scoring a stoppage-time winner for Inter.

Centre-back Koulibaly was initially booked for a foul on Matteo Politano and then shown another yellow card in the aftermath for sarcastically applauding the referee.

Koulibaly, 27, had been subjected to monkey noises from home supporters throughout the match.

Koulibaly apologised on Twitter for the defeat and being sent off but said: "I am proud of the colour of my skin. [Proud] to be French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man."

Ancelotti: Napoli asked for halt to game

Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the club had asked for the game to be stopped several times.

"We asked three times for the match to be suspended and there were three announcements, but the match continued," Ancelotti told Sky.

"The player was irritable, he wasn't in the best state of mind. Usually he's a very calm and professional player but there were these noises throughout the game."

"It looks like an excuse but the player was agitated and irritable. It's not good, not for us, nor for Italian football," he added.

"The solution exists. You have to stop the match. You just have to know when, after how many announcements. And if we don't know, then next time we may have to stop play ourselves."

Koulibaly apologised on Twitter for the defeat and being sent off but said: "I am proud of the colour of my skin. [Proud] to be French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man".

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Milan's mayor Giuseppe Sala, second from right, was appalled by the behaviour of some Inter Milan supporters on Wednesday. Giuseppe Aresu for The National
Milan's mayor Giuseppe Sala, second from right, was appalled by the behaviour of some Inter Milan supporters on Wednesday. Giuseppe Aresu for The National

Milan mayor apologises to Koulibaly

Meanwhile Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan, said on Thursday he was ashamed of the racist chants and asked Koulibaly for forgiveness on behalf of his city.

"The boos aimed at Koulibaly were shameful," Sala said on Facebook. "A shameful act towards a true athlete who wears the colour of his skin with pride."

The mayor, who was at the San Siro for the match, said he would continue to go to games but would not tolerate any racist chanting.

"I will continue to watch Inter but at the first chant I will make a small gesture. I will get up and leave. I will do it for myself, aware that whoever abuses a black athlete won't give a damn about me," Sala said.

"I apologise to Kalidou Koulibaly on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Milan who testify to feeling that we are brothers even in these difficult times."

Updated: December 27, 2018 07:43 PM

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