Saturday June 20 2020
Ancelotti: 'Napoli fought racism'

Carlo Ancelotti has explained how Napoli fought to ensure Kalidou Koulibaly was not racially abused again. “If you challenge people, things can change.”

The world of football is taking a stand against racism, with players in the Premier League taking a knee before games and wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of their shirts.

“Football has an important role to play in educating people,” Ancelotti told The Guardian. “Millions follow footballers, watch what they do, hear what they say.”

The Everton boss was Napoli’s coach when Koulibaly had to endure monkey chants from Inter fans during a Serie A match in December 2018, but the defender has not suffered the same treatment since.

“[I told Koulibaly] that we were on his side, we were with him: we would fight with him, that it wasn’t right that he should have those problems and that we would try to change things.

“Kalidou has a strong character and he was angry. Sad, too. It wasn’t new for him, which made him even sadder. He felt anger and sadness. It’s 2020, that can’t happen.

“We asked for the game to be stopped, three times. We spoke to the referee’s assistant but they didn’t listen. At the time, the rules were not so clear, the protocol.

“But then the press pushed it and the rules on suspending games changed. It didn’t happen again; Koulibaly didn’t get that abuse again.

“If you challenge people, push them, make them think, things can change.”

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