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Footballers against racism: what we understood from the Acerbi case

On the championship day that Serie A dedicates to the fight against racism, a bit of everything happens. Napoli, through a video published on social media, says no to racism in all its forms. In the video, Mr. Calzona's players are seen reciting a message in their native language.

«Our eyes have seen too much», reads the text, «our ears have listened too much. Our mouths have said too little, the time for indifference is over. Let us be listened to, without fear, without shame. Let's shout it out loud. No to racism”.

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The appeal from the Neapolitan club comes a few hours after the explosion of the Acerbi case. The Inter defender, during the match against Napoli, would have turned to the player Juan Jesus calling him “nigger”. The story was made public by the Napoli defender himself who explained how he was unable to overlook Acerbi's conduct, only to then accept his apologies.

Meanwhile, the first consequences are arriving for the Inter fan who, summoned by the Italy coach on Saturday Luciano Spalletti, was sent home and replaced by Roma central defender Gianluca Mancini. Inter, who hold the player's card, have decided not to fine him for the moment, at least until the episode is clarified.

«We take note of the FIGC statement in relation to the events that concerned Francesco Acerbi during the match against Napoli and of the fact that the FIGC and Acerbi have agreed on the player's non-participation in the next two friendly matches of the national team in the United States», the statement issued by the club, «FC Internazionale Milano reserves the right to discuss with its member as soon as possible in order to shed light on the exact dynamics of what happened».

While awaiting developments, come the words of Umberto Calcagno, president of the Italian Footballers' Association. «The fight against racism must be conducted without ifs or buts», his statement during the Radio show Anch'io lo Sport, «Acerbi is one of the guys who spends the most on our world, I don't want to trivialize, but I don't want to exploit either. Juan Jesus' words are indicative, Francis immediately apologized.”

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Rumors of a confrontation between Acerbi, coach Spalletti and the other players have leaked out from the Azzurri's retreat. The Inter fan would have tried to explain his version, saying that there would have been no defamatory, denigrating or racist intent. «I have never said any racist words, I am very calm. I have been a professional for twenty years and I know what I say, no such words have come out of my mouth. it was he who misunderstood. He's sorry for leaving the national team, to racism I say f–k…”.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office immediately opened an investigation for the possible violation of article 28 of the Sports Justice Code which concerns discriminatory behaviour. «The player who commits a violation referred to in paragraph 1 is punished with a disqualification for at least 10 match days or, in the most serious cases, with an indefinite disqualification».

Source: Vanity Fair

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