Juventus great Lilian Thuram hits out at Serie A response to racism faced by Blaise Matuidi

Sport360 staff 22:28 10/01/2018
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Matuidi was subject to racist chanting at Cagliari on Saturday.

World Cup winner Lilian Thuram has blasted the handling in Italy of the racist abuse directed at Juventus winger Blaise Matuidi during the Italian champions’ 1-0 win at Cagliari on Saturday, asking why more wasn’t done to support his countryman on the night.

“We are not tackling the issue of racism as we should be,” said Thuram, who won two Italian league titles in five years at Juventus, to AFP.

“Why did the referee not stop the match, why don’t the white players leave the field when Matuidi is insulted?

“If no-one asks these questions, the situation will be the same 20 years from now.”

Frenchman Matuidi revealed after Juve’s win in Sardinia that he had been the subject of racist chanting.

After hearing abuse from the stands late in the first half Matuidi rushed to referee Giampaolo Calvarese, but the official ignored his pleas to intervene and Medhi Benatia and Paulo Dybala had to calm their teammate down.

Cagliari apologised to the 30-year-old the following day but then went unpunished for the incident by Serie A, with a disciplinary report on Tuesday saying that “no determination can be made with regard to Cagliari for the deplorable expressions of racial discrimination of which Juventus player Blaise Matuidi reports he was the subject”.

Saturday’s abuse follows similar racist chants directed at Matuidi during Juve’s 3-1 win at Verona late last month, for which Verona were fined €20,000 by the Italian league.

Thuram, who won the World Cup with France in 1998 and the European Championships two years later, also criticised Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann‘s decision to black up when dressing up as a Harlem Globetrotters basketball player for a party.

“This fancy dress is not a trivial thing. A young black man who wants to dress up as Superman doesn’t paint himself white,” said Thuram.

“That costume tells the story of a history of abuse.”

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