Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Raheem Sterling hits out at Leonardo Bonucci over '50-50' comment on Cagliari's racist chants at Moise Kean

Teenager criticised by both Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri and his teammate for celebrating his goal in from of fans who had made racist chants at him

Moise Kean, centre, reacts to Cagliari fans after scoring for Juventus. He had been the victim of racist chanting throughout the game. Getty 
Moise Kean, centre, reacts to Cagliari fans after scoring for Juventus. He had been the victim of racist chanting throughout the game. Getty 

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has led criticism of Leonardo Bonucci's claims that his Juventus teammate Moise Kean was "50-50" to blame for the racist chanting he was subjected to be Cagliari fans on Tuesday night.

Kean, 19, was verbally abused all night by sections of the home support

Kean, though, had the final say when scoring Juve's second goal of the 2-0 win with five minutes left before standing next to the post, his arms spread in defiant response to the abuse coming from the stands behind - which only continued to grow louder.

Bonucci, who had scored the first goal for the Serie A leaders, had told Italian media post-match: "Kean knows that when he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his teammates. He knows he could've done something differently too.

"There were racist jeers after the goal, Blaise heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn't have done that and the Curva should not have reacted that way.

"We are professionals, we have to set the example and not provoke anyone."

Sterling, who was the target of racist abuse during England's Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last week, was angry with Bonucci's comment.

He wrote on Instagram on Wednesday, "The blame is 50-50 @bonucci19. All you can do now is laugh."

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri also felt that Kean had been unwise to celebrate his second goal in front of the Cagliari fans.

"He shouldn't have celebrated in that manner," Allegri said. "He is a young man and he has to learn, but certain things from the crowd also shouldn't be heard."

In his post-match comments to broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, Allegri turned his attention to the need for the football authorities to tackle the "idiots" head on.

"You need great intelligence to deal with these situations and should not go to provoke people. That, of course, does not mean the idiots in the crowd and the way they reacted should be justified," he said.

"As always in life, there are idiots who do stupid things and ruin it for everyone else.

"I don't think talking about it all the time helps. I don't think halting play helps, because not everyone in the stadium did that.

"We need to use the cameras, find those who are doing it and punish them. It's very simple, identify them and not one-year ban or two, just give them a lifetime ban.

"We've got the technology, it can be done if the authorities want to. The problem is, they don't really want to."

During the game Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini led the player protests to referee Piero Giacomelli, who also spoke to both managers.

Meanwhile, Cagliari skipper Luca Ceppitelli appealed directly to the home fans behind the goal for the offensive chants to stop.

Juve's France midfielder Blaise Matuidi appeared to gesture to manager Allegri he should take his players off.

There was a delay of around some three minutes. An announcement had been made over the public address system to highlight the issue - which was greeted by more jeers from some home supporters.

Afterwards, Kean posted a message on Instagram with a photo of his celebration and a caption which read: "The best way to respond to racism #notoracism".

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin had on Tuesday insisted referees would be told to be "brave" and halt matches to stamp out such abuse from "loud, aggressive and primitive" people.

Updated: April 3, 2019 09:42 PM

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