Football racist abuse should trigger automatic match forfeit after “abhorrent” incidents, says FIFA boss

UK

Coventry City midfielder Kasey Palmer has said he “feels like things will never change” after alleged racist abuse was aimed at him in the closing stages of their 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Palmer, 27, was seen going to retrieve the ball from behind the goal, before sharply turning away and motioning towards match referee Anthony Backhouse before pointing towards the crowd at Hillsborough.

He appeared to indicate that an individual had made a monkey gesture towards him.

A bottle thrown from the stand also appeared to strike another Coventry player.

The match was paused as Mr Backhouse spoke to both managers on the touchline.

Image:
Pic: Sky Sports

“Disappointed to even have to come on here & write this. Racism is a disgrace… it has no place in the world, let alone football,” Palmer wrote in a statement after the game.

“I’m black and proud, and I am raising my three kids to be the exact same. I’ll be honest, it feels like things will never change, no matter how hard we try.

Image:
The player alleged individuals made monkey chants towards him. Pic: Sky Sports

“Couple fans doing monkey chants don’t define a fan base – I appreciate all the love and support I’ve received”.

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Coventry manager Mark Robins added that it was part of the game for supporters to “have a go” at managers, coaches or players, but when it was racism it “oversteps”.

“Nobody should have to deal with that, nobody in society. There is no place in society for it. I’m hoping they have a clear picture of what has gone on and they deal with it properly, because that is just out of order,” he said.

Later, in a joint statement, both clubs said they were “shocked and saddened by the racist gesture” and “roundly condemn any form of discrimination and abuse”.

They said they were working with the relevant authorities and “expect action to be taken against any supporter identified”.

‘No place in our game for racism’

It comes as a separate alleged racist incident suspended play at Udinese’s Bluenergy Stadium in Italy.

AC Milan players walked off the pitch following alleged racist chants directed at goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

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AC Milan’s Mike Maignan speaks with referee Fabio Maresca


The 28-year-old was seen remonstrating with referee Fabio Maresca before taking off his gloves and walking off. As he walked down the tunnel leading off the pitch, he was followed by his teammates.

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 following the incident, while the Serie A League said it “condemns all forms of racism”.

Rival team Inter Milan showed solidarity with AC Milan, posting on X: “We are brothers of the world, against all forms of discrimination. By your side @mmseize.”

The incident was also condemned by Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe and England’s Ian Wright, with the former writing: “You are very far from being alone Mike Maignan. We are all with you. Still the same problems and still NO solution. Enough is enough !!!!!!!!!!!! NO TO RACISM.”

Former Arsenal forward Wright added: “Solidarity from the rest of the team. Keep walking off!! We did ‘playing through it’ and nothing has changed. Points deductions needed, the fines are pointless.”

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