Tuesday September 17 2019
Kessie agent: Verona a 'disgrace'

Franck Kessie’s agent has hit out at Verona for their “unacceptable and disgraceful” statements that denied the Milan midfielder was racially abused.

Verona released two statements after their 1-0 defeat to Milan, both of which insisted the whistles from their fans during Sunday’s match were aimed at the referee.

Hellas were roundly accused of brushing racism under the carpet, and George Atangana agreed there was “no real will” in Italy to tackle the problem.

“African football players have broad shoulders, now they don’t take notice of the chants that much,” he told La Repubblica.

“That doesn’t mean these incidents don’t hurt them. This must absolutely stop. Words are also important.

“I found what Verona said to be unacceptable and disgraceful. It denies the facts and confirms the tendency to consider normal what isn’t at all.

“I don’t see any real will in Italy to address and resolve the problem like in other European countries.

“I don’t think it’s right to make players resolve a problem when there are already ad hoc supervisory bodies in place.

“For me, it doesn’t seem so difficult to identify racists and punish them. It’s done, I repeat, in other countries.

“First of all, the bodies in charge mustn’t close their eyes and block their ears. Then, if the insults go on, games should be suspended.

“But I have the feeling that there’s no will to seriously intervene. Therefore, you have young players, victims of racism, who prefer to leave Italy.

“It’s always the least famous people to suffer the most serious consequences of this phenomenon.

“Things are clearly getting worse. There are now no places immune to racism, and the failure to react to these incidents causes the devil in each of us to come out.

“Moreover, it’s detrimental to Italian football, at a time when foreign champions are being attracted to Serie A again.

“I don’t think Cristiano Ronaldo is happy when he sees Matuidi receiving insults. I personally know French lads who don’t want to come to Italy because of racism

“A footballer is like any other worker: he doesn’t come to Italy because he has a certain skin colour but because he believes it can live in a civilised place.

“Instead, we wash our consciences with fines of 5,000-10,000 to clubs, which are useless.

“We need decisive action. Otherwise, if no-one does anything, with every incident of racism, an even more serious one will follow.

“Pretending nothing is going on is complicity with racists. It’s about the credibility of institutions.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: