Today’s Serie A match between AC Milan and Udinese, which was played at Udinese’s Bluenergy Stadium stadium, witnessed the unfolding of yet another shameful incident of racism in the face of football. Racist comments were targeted at Milan’s goalkeeper Mike Maignan during the match by some fans of Udinese. The game was briefly suspended after Mike Maignan, along with his teammates, walked off the pitch after the incident.
Mike Maignan, who has played a total of 93 matches for AC Milan since being transferred to the club, is a vital cog in the team and has been rock solid in their defence since 2021. He received huge support from footballers and fans across the globe after the incident. Even Kylian Mbappe showed his support for the Frenchman and said that FIFA need to do better to stop racism in the sport.
After the incident, FIFA president Gianni Infantino released a statement saying that there is no place for racism both in football and in society and that the incident has his undivided attention. Infantino also suggested that teams should abandon matches on the event of any racial incidents and said that the racists should be subjected to worldwide stadium bans and criminal charges.
“We need ALL the relevant stakeholders to take action, starting with education in schools so that future generations understand that this is not part of football or society,” he said.
“As well as the three-step process (match stopped, match re-stopped, match abandoned), we have to implement an automatic forfeit for the team whose fans have committed racism and caused the match to be abandoned, as well as worldwide stadium bans and criminal charges for racists,” added the FIFA president.
Coventry City’s Casey Palmer also gets subjected to racism
Besides Mike Maignan, there was another case of racism in a different part of the world today. During Sheffield Wednesday’s match against Coventry City, Coventry player Casey Palmer was subjected to racist gestures by one of the home fans. Sheffield Wednesday condemned the incident and are currently trying to identify the fan.
Mike Maignan has also opened up on being subject to racism now. He said in a statement that these fans who make racist remarks are ‘ignorant people’. “They’re ignorant people…. You can be booed or whistled when you’re away from home, that’s normal, but what happened today has no place in football,” Maignan said.