New anti-racism rules have been used to impose a 10-man ban on Matera player Gaetano Iannini after a Coppa Italia match.
Iannini was found guilty of using a racist term towards an opponent during Sud Tirol’s 2-0 win over Matera in the first round of the Coppa Italia.
The Code of Sporting Justice has been adjusted this season in Italy, prompting a ban of 5-10 games for players using racist insults and suspension of at least four months for a director.
Iannini had a free kick awarded against him for a foul on 19-year-old Ghanaian Caleb Ansah Ekuban, then said something to the referee, who immediately sent him off.
Iannini is not new to controversy, as he was given a four-year Daspo order (similar to an ASBO) for attacking a referee and his assistants.
“We absolutely condemn the behaviour of our athlete,” said Matera President Saverio Columella.
“Racist insults are unforgivable and, if it happened, then it’s only right that Iannini pays the price.”
Minister for Integration Cecile Kyenge, the first black minister in Italian government, welcomed the ban.
“It is a strong signal to let people understand that after messages of support we have moved to concrete facts.”