AC Milan keeper Mike Maignan on Sunday accused Udinese of being “accomplices” to racism. He was subjected to monkey chants in his side’s 3-2 win at the Udine club on Saturday.
AC Milan goalkeeper was the subject of monkey calls during the team’s match against Udinese on Sunday. Maignan and his teammates walked off the pitch, and play was suspended for 10 minutes. He had also told the referee about alleged monkey chants earlier in the match, prompting an announcement in the stadium asking fans to stop.
“There is absolutely no place in our game for racism: we are appalled. We are with you, Mike,” AC Milan said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, following the incident.
City rivals Inter Milan shared their support, replying to the post: “We are brothers of the world, against all forms of discrimination. By your side.”
The Serie A League added that it “condemns all forms of racism”.
“Accomplices” to racism
Maignan said authorities and the club would be guilty of the same charge if they do not take a stand over what happened.
“The system has to take responsibility,” the Frenchman said in a social-media post. “It’s easy for the people behind these acts to act in a group, in the anonymity of the stands.
“The spectators who were in the stands and saw everything, heard everything, but decided to keep quiet, you are accomplices. Udinese, who just talked about interrupting the match as if nothing was going on, you are accomplices. The authorities and the prosecutors, with all that’s happening, if they don’t do anything, they will be accomplices too.”
In a statement, Udinese expressed support for Maignan and condemned what had happened to him.
“Udinese Calcio deeply regrets and condemns every act of racism and violence,” the club said on Sunday.
“We reaffirm our aversion to any form of discrimination and express our profound solidarity with the AC Milan player Mike Maignan in light of Saturday’s deplorable incident at our stadium.
“Udinese will collaborate with all investigating authorities to ensure immediate clarification of the incident, with the aim of taking any necessary measures to punish those responsible”.
Salvini stands with Maignan
Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said the racist abuse was “shameful”. He also stressed it would be wrong to blame a club or an entire city.
“I hope that 2024 will bring a new culture and a new sporting spirit to the stadiums,” said Salvini, who is a big Milan fan.
“I hope that those in charge will intervene.
“I have seen Udinese have already intervened with clear words (condemning the racism). I don’t think you can blame entire cities or clubs for a few idiots.
“Maignan has all my solidarity as a sportsman, as a fan, as an Italian and as a civilised person”.