Appeal results in reduction of Udinese’s ban for racist abuse directed at Mike Maignan

In an unfortunate turn of events, Udinese fans directed racist abuse at AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan, prompting the Italian soccer federation to initially order the club to play in an empty stadium for their upcoming match against Monza. However, the punishment was reduced on appeal, and Udinese will now only have one end of the stadium closed for their next two home matches.

Maignan, who is Black, was subject to monkey noises during a recent game, causing him to walk off the field. The match was suspended for about five minutes before resuming, with Milan eventually securing a 3-2 victory. The incident garnered widespread support for Maignan, and the goalkeeper himself called for stronger action from authorities in response to the racist abuse.

This incident adds to a long list of racist incidents in Italian and European soccer. Notable victims in Italy include Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mario Balotelli, and Romelu Lukaku. In fact, just this month, Lazio was sanctioned with a one-match partial stadium closure for racist chants directed at Lukaku.

The reduced punishment for Udinese may raise questions about the effectiveness of the Italian soccer federation’s response to racism in the sport. These incidents highlight the ongoing issue of racism in soccer and the need for more stringent measures to address and prevent such behavior in the future.
On January 31, 2024, Udinese’s upcoming match against Monza will not be held in an empty stadium as originally planned. The Italian Soccer Federation, following an appeal, has decided to reduce the club’s punishment for the racist abuse directed at AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan by certain fans. As a result, Udinese will only have one end of their stadium closed for their next two home matches. The federation did not provide a specific reason for the reduction in punishment, which was announced on Wednesday.

During a recent game, Maignan, who is of Black descent, left the field after being subjected to what he described as monkey noises. The 28-year-old goalkeeper was supported by his teammates, and the match was temporarily suspended for approximately five minutes before resuming, with Milan ultimately securing a 3-2 victory. Maignan, a former player for Lille who came up through Paris Saint-Germain’s youth program, received widespread backing from the soccer community and issued a call for authorities to take more forceful action against such behavior.

Racist incidents have been a longstanding issue in Italian and European soccer, with notable figures such as Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mario Balotelli, and Romelu Lukaku having been victims of such abuse in Italy. This month, Lazio was penalized with a partial stadium closure for one match due to racist chants aimed at Lukaku.

David Richard

Hello, I am David. I have worked in several sports magazines specializing in football, and I have a great love for this sport and a passion for following itI will do my best to bring you the latest news.