Former Pompey man would repeat walk-off over racist abuse

Sulley Muntari, right, celebrates winning the FA Cup with John Utaka Pic: Will Caddy
Sulley Muntari, right, celebrates winning the FA Cup with John Utaka Pic: Will Caddy
Pompey midfielder Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

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FORMER POMPEY man Sulley Muntari has promised to walk off the field again if subjected to racist abuse.

The Blues FA Cup winner, who now turns out for Italian side Pescara, was sent off last month for leaving the pitch after claiming he was abused in a Serie A game with Cagliari.

Muntari’s suspension was overturned following a worldwide outcry over his treatment.

Despite football’s efforts to fight against racism, the 32-year-old believes incidents are on the increase.

Muntari told BBC Sport: ‘(Racism is) everywhere and getting worse.

‘I went through hell and was treated like a criminal.

‘I went off the field because it wasn’t right for me to be on the field while I have been racially abused.

‘If I had this problem today, tomorrow or the next game I would go off again.’

Muntari believes Fifa president Gianni Infantino can make an impact on racism in football.

The man who scored the winner against Manchester United in the quarter-finals to send Pompey to Wembley believes England blaze a trail when dealing with the issue.

Muntari said: ‘I think he is capable of doing something in a good way to fight racism. I want him to fight racism.

‘I never heard anything like that in England because I think they don’t tolerate it.

‘England is the example for the world. If a country doesn’t tolerate it then it means you get rid of it.’

The incident involving Muntari has generated an angry response inside and out of the game.

Last week, Italian Football Federation advisor, Fiona May, slammed the decision to initially uphold his one-match suspension and backed Muntari’s actions.

The disciplinary committee stated the abuse came from ‘only 10 supporters and therefore less than one per cent’ of the stadium.

The call was later overturned by the federation.

May said at the time: ‘I’m frustrated and shocked. I would say all players should consider it, to show solidarity.

‘You can’t put a number on how somebody can abuse a player. How can somebody put a number on it?

‘They shouldn’t have said that. It doesn’t matter if it is just was one person or 100 people in a stand, it doesn’t matter. They shouldn’t be doing racist chants, full stop.’

Former Pompey midfielder Prince Boateng walked off the pitch while playing for AC Milan in a friendly match in 2013. The led to the game with Pro Patria being abandoned after 25 minutes.