Italian Serie A match halted after racist abuse on the first weekend of the FARE Action Week18 October 2010

Again a racist incident happened during the europeanwide FARE Action Week against racism and discrimination. Samuel Eto’o suffered racist abuse when Cagliari fans shouted monkey chants at the Inter Milan striker.

On Sunday 17 October, some minutes after the kick-off of the Serie A match Cagliari vs Inter Milan supporters from the home team began to make monkey chants addressed to Inter Milan’s black players, in particular against Samuel Eto’o. After consulting his assistant referees and the security officers in the stadium referee Paolo Tagliavento called captains and decided to stop the match.

The stadium announcer informed the supporters in the stadium that if the offensive chants didn’t stop the match would be abandoned. After three minutes the match got underway again after the supporters calmed down. It was the first time in Italy the a first league match was halted because of racist insults.

Fight racism
Sport and football need concrete signs – said Filippo Fossati, president of Uisp, Italian Union of Sport for all – Tagliavento demonstrated how it is possible to affirm legality and to break any racist flow. It’s wrong to minimize or tolerate this manifestations of stupidity. UEFA is clear about these rules: we have to fight racist intolerance and adopt prompt measures.

But this Italian football week didn’t just register negative episodes, in fact the pro-active answer to racist attitudes was given by the activities organised and conducted by several fan groups during the FARE Action Week.

Anti-racist fans tournaments in Genoa and Ancona
Already on 9 October, the “Rude Boy and Girls” – a Sampdoria ultras group – organised the fourth edition of tournament “Love Samp, hate racism” in Genoa. This anti-racist tournament opened the FARE Action Week in Italy traditionally as a pre-event to the official start of the FARE Action Week. It saw the participation of many groups, associations, migrants, communities and ultras, as Parma “Amici di Bagna”, Atalanta “Antifa Bergamo”, Venice Mestre “Gate 22”, Savona “Working class”, Hamburg “FC Sankt Pauli All Stars” or “Ultras Marseille”. Winners were the team of “Real Daspo” who won against Sankt Pauli.

The multisport association Assata Shakur organised a series of events in the framework of the FARE Action Week in Ancona. Assata Shakur is involved in many mixed tournaments and for the first day of the amateur championship on 13 October they presented their banner “Kick Racism”, together with the opponent team Edilcost. This season the football team of Assata Shakur – composed by people from all over the world – will wear official jerseys with the slogan “Diamo un calico al razzismo” (“Kick racism”) instead of using the place for a sponsoring logo.

Uisp is coordinating and organising many other activities in cooperation with grass-roots and regional Uisp departmemts for the FARE Action Week in Italy, e.g. in Rome, in Florence and in Varese.

The 11th FARE Action Week against Racism and Discrimination in European Football gets fully underway, with hundreds of actions taking place all over Europe. The 11th Action Week will take place from the 14 – 26 October 2010 and will reach out to 40 European countries.

FARE list of Action Week activities:
Click here for the list of activities

Download the 2010 Action Week poster:
Action Week poster