Napoli have said they will ignore the warning from Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini and walk off the pitch in the event of a repeat of the racial abuse suffered by their defender Kalidou Koulibaly on Boxing Day.
Koulibaly was subjected to monkey chants from Inter Milan fans during the Nerazzurri‘s 1-0 win at San Siro.
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said he tried on three occasions to get the referee to suspend the game.
Announcements were made to warn the fans that the game may be interrupted if they continued, but despite their monkey chants proceeding, the game continued to a conclusion.
UEFA said in a statement that they were surprised the three-step procedure which can lead to a game’s suspension had not been applied fully.
Afterwards, Ancelotti threatened to take matters into his own hands the next time he hears racist insults, and the Serie A club have backed him up, despite Salvini saying after a meeting with federation, league, club and fan representatives that suspending games would only make matters worse.
A club spokesman told ANSA that they are “remaining resolute in the intention to take the initiative, even doing something dramatic, if racist chants are repeated during future games.”
Furthermore, they say that Salvini’s comments “have caused a great deal of consternation among senior management, who share the path drawn by coach Carlo Ancelotti in terms of the players stopping playing.”
Inter were handed a two-game full stadium closure, with a partial closure of the San Siro for a third game, due to the racial abuse that was clearly audible throughout the ground.
They announced on Tuesday that they would not be appealing the Serie A sanction, but have requested that children be granted access to the stadium for their Serie A encounter with Sassuolo on Jan. 19.