FIFA President Gianni Infantino has spoken up in support of Juventus striker Dušan Vlahović after the Serbian was racially abused some Atalanta fans during the Bianconeri’s game in Bergamo.
Vlahović came on late in the game in Bergamo when Juve were 1-0 up against Atalanta. He was constantly subjected to racist chanting by Atalanta fans and referee Daniele Doveri had stopped the game in stoppage time once to make sure that the chanting stopped. The stadium announcers made no intimation to the fans to stop the chanting and they restarted by the time the game began once again.
Vlahović was shown the yellow card for his celebration after the goal and Gian Piero Gasperini’s comments about the incident after the game left many amused.
But FIFA President Infantino has now offered support for the ex-Fiorentina star. He posted on Instagram, stating that racists will be severely punished and that there’s no space for racism or any other form of discrimination in Calcio.
“There is no place for racism or any other form of discrimination in football. The racist insult directed yesterday by fans against Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic during the Serie A match against Atalanta is absolutely unacceptable. This is not an isolated incident and I call on the relevant authorities to ensure that severe sanctions are applied to tackle such incidents and act as a deterrent. FIFA and I stand by Dusan Vlahovic, as well as any other player, coach, match official, supporter or participant in a football match who has experienced racism or any other form of discrimination.
“The victims of these abuses must be supported and the perpetrators duly punished by the authorities at all levels. I also reiterate the appeal I have already made several times in the past for fans to take a stand and silence racists.”
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN