Udinese’s director Federico Balzaretti has strongly denounced the racist abuse that was aimed at AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
During their recent Serie A match at Udinese’s stadium on Saturday, Maignan endured racist chants from some spectators.
Balzaretti has expressed the club’s unwavering commitment to identifying those responsible and taking appropriate and firm action against them.
“This is a club that has worked for over 30 years to be the most ethnically diverse possible… if we find the person responsible, we will take action.”
Immediately after the incident, Maignan promptly reported the racist insults to the match officials.
The Serie A match was restarted after about 10 minutes.
“I said we cannot play football like this. It is not the first time it has happened this way,” Maignan told Sky Sports Italy.
“They must hand out very strong sanctions, because talking no longer does anything.
“We have to say that what they are doing is wrong. It is not the whole crowd, most fans want to cheer on their team and jeer you. That’s normal, but not this.”
He added: “What happened in the first half is that at the first goal-kick I heard monkey noises, I said nothing.
“The second time I went to get the ball, I heard it again. I told the fourth official and my bench what happened.
“I was angry, because this isn’t the first time it has happened. I did not want to play, but we are a family and I could not leave my team-mates like that.”
In accordance with protocol, a statement was issued warning that further consequences would follow if the abuse persisted.
Despite a five-minute pause in the game, the match proceeded, ultimately resulting in a 3-2 victory for Milan in the stoppage time.