Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch during Pescara’s clash with Cagliari on Sunday after being booked for reporting racial abuse to the referee.
The 32-year-old heard chants during the game and informed referee Daniele Minelli to stop the game. However, his protests fell on deaf ears as he was booked before marching off the pitch and remonstrating with some fans in the stands.
Pescara ended the game with 10 men after he refused to take part, but he continued to try and spread his positive message after the game.
“You saw what happened. The fans were chanting at me during the first half,” he told Premium Sport.
“There was a little kid doing it with his parents standing nearby. So I went over to him and told him not to do it. I gave him my shirt, to teach him that you’re not supposed to do things like that. I needed to set an example so he grows up to be nice.
“Then in the second half it happened in that stand again and so I spoke to the referee. And then he really p—ed me off. He told me that I’m not allowed to speak to the fans. I asked him, ‘But didn’t you hear?’
“I insistently told him he should have had the courage to stop the game. The referee’s not just there to stand on the pitch and blow his whistle – he has to manage everything. He should also listen out for that kind of thing and set an example.”
The former Portsmouth and Sunderland midfielder has played in Italy for a number of years and this shocking event will undoubtedly deeply sadden him and reflects badly on the referee, supporters and game as a whole with more needing to be done by the officials and powers that be to stamp racism out altogether.
Sulley Muntari walks off pitch at Cagliari (playing for Pescara, Sunday) after yellow crd for reporting racist abusepic.twitter.com/tTtZLUQ7Ip
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) April 30, 2017