The Italian Football Federation (FICG) has overturned a one-match ban given to former Ghanian International Sulley Muntari after the midfielder was booked for complaining over racist abuse.
By Carlo Chikomba
The 32-year old, who plays for Italian Serie A side Pescara, was shown a yellow card after making a complaint of racial abuse during their last Sunday’s match away to Cagliari. This led to Muntari leaving the pitch in protest, a one which saw the FICG handing him a one match ban.
Earlier on at half time, the midfielder had tried to show his better side, speaking to a group of fans at the Stadio Sant’Elia before giving his shirt to the boy whose family were abusing him and asking them to set a better example.
The ban, however, drew global outcry with many current and former football players openly criticising the Italian board most notably ex-Tottenham striker Garth Crooks calling for every black player in the Serie A to strike in the next round of matches.
Consequently, it was then decided on Friday that the Pescara midfielder would be available for Sunday’s game at home to Crotone after the Italian Football Association had lodged an appeal on his behalf.
Muntari, on the other hand, had no kind words to the referee that sent him off, adding that the match official simply did not have the “balls” to stop play.
“If you are a man, you must have the balls to stop play. It’d just be for a second, but in that second, you can make a big difference. We are all created by God, the only difference is in the colour of our skin,” he said.