Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti has threatened to lead his team off the pitch the next time one of his players is subject to continued racist abuse.
Ancelotti claimed Kalidou Koulibaly was targeted at the San Siro, where the Senegal defender was sent off.
Ancelotti asked several times for Napoli’s match at Inter Milan to be halted on Wednesday after racist chanting. Announcements were made on the stadium audio system warning fans that the match would be stopped but no further action was taken.
“We asked three times for the match to be halted because of racist chants,” Ancelotti said.
“Announcements were made but the match continued. Next time we’ll stop the match by leaving the pitch, even if that means maybe forfeiting the match.”
Ancelotti believes the inaction by officials led to the dismissal of defender Kalidou Koulibaly 10 minutes from time.
“I’m very sorry about what happened to Koulibaly. The boy was on edge, he is an educated footballer who was targeted. Despite our requests, the match was not interrupted. I’m unhappy because three times we asked for the match to be suspended.”
After being abused with monkey noises, Koulibaly, 27, was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in a matter of seconds in the 80th minute. The first was for a foul on Matteo Politano, the second was for sarcastically applauding the referee’s decision.
“Koulibaly was agitated and nervous, which is normal,” Ancelotti said. “It’s not good for us and it’s not good for Italian football.”
Napoli went on to lose the match 1-0 after Lautaro Martinez netted a stoppage-time winner for Inter.
Koulibaly posted on Twitter of his pride of being born in France to Senegalese parents.
“I’m sorry about the defeat and especially to have left my brothers! But I am proud of the colour of my skin. Of being French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man,” he wrote.
It is the latest incident of racism to blight Italian football.
Mi dispiace la sconfitta e sopratutto avere lasciato i miei fratelli!
Però sono orgoglioso del colore della mia pelle. Di essere francese, senegalese, napoletano: uomo.
— Koulibaly Kalidou (@kkoulibaly26) December 26, 2018
Sulley Muntari walked off the field during a Serie A game in April 2017 in response to racial abuse. The Pescara midfielder was infuriated after unsuccessfully trying to get the referee to halt the game at Cagliari.