Friday January 18 2019
'Racism no justification for Koulibaly'

Kalidou Koulibaly’s two-match ban stands because the FIGC insists being subjected to racist abuse “could otherwise be used to justify any act of violence.”

The Napoli defender was sent off during the defeat to Inter for sarcastically applauding the referee after a yellow card.

He had been dealing with racist insults from the stands throughout the match, as confirmed by the referee’s report and media observers.

Today Koulibaly testified in front of the appeal’s court and confessed he was “ashamed” to tell his mother what had happened.

However, the appeal was rejected and the two-match ban stands, meaning he will miss Sunday’s showdown with Lazio.

A statement released by the appeals court explains the “unacceptable atmosphere that was created inside the stadium during the match has no relevance and cannot be considered justification for an athlete to mock the referee.

“If that were the case, the presence of racist behaviour in the stands could be used to justify and not sanction any act (even violence) by a player. Obviously, that cannot be allowed to stand as precedent.”

Napoli lawyer Mattia Grassani told Sky Sport Italia the verdict left Koulibaly and the club with “a profound sense of injustice.”

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