Udinese has to play home game without fans for racist abuse aimed at AC Milan's Maignan

Tue, Jan 23, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Udinese has to play home game without fans for racist abuse aimed at AC Milan's Maignan

MILAN (AP) - Udinese will have to play its next home game in an empty stadium as punishment for racist abuse aimed at AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

The Serie A judge made the decision on Tuesday following widespread outrage after the incidents during Saturday's game in Udine.

League judge Gerardo Mastrandrea noted that despite two announcements inside the stadium asking fans to stop the abuse, there were no reports of other supporters disassociating themselves from the racist chants. However, since Udinese cooperated with authorities and acted quickly to find the fans responsible for the abuse, the least severe sanction was applied.

Fans won't be allowed in for a game against Monza on Feb. 3.

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Maignan, who is Black, walked off the field after being subjected to what he later said were monkey noises. The 28-year-old goalie was joined by his teammates and the match was suspended for about five minutes. They returned and Milan went on to win 3-2.

Udinese identified one of the fans responsible for the abuse and banned him for life on Monday as it vowed to do the same for the other "evil people" amid calls for tougher sanctions from authorities.

Maignan received widespread support from the soccer world and issued a statement on Sunday calling for authorities to take stronger action.

There have been numerous racist incidents in Italian and European soccer for years, with victims in Italy including Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mario Balotelli and Romelu Lukaku.

This month, Lazio was sanctioned with a one-match partial stadium closure for racist chants directed at Lukaku.

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