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‘I am ashamed of being Italian’: Giorgio Chiellini condemns ‘unacceptable’ racist abuse

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‘I’m ashamed of being Italian’: Giorgio Chiellini condemns ‘unacceptable’ racist abuse targeting Napoli trio by Fiorentina fans, as veteran insists ‘it’s terrible publicity for Italy abroad’

  • Giorgio Chiellini has expressed shame over more racist abuse in Italy
  • A trio of Napoli stars have been racially abused by Fiorentina fans this season
  • Chiellini says racist incidents are ‘terrible publicity’ for Italy abroad
  • The European champions hope to extend their unbeaten run this month











Roberto Mancini came up with the idea of ​​extending his team’s 37-game unbeaten run beyond next year’s World Cup and Giorgio Chiellini marveled at the energizing qualities of Euro 2020 glory.

But Italy’s glow after Wembley and their bid to add the UEFA Nations League to their European title was clouded by an ugly outbreak of racist insults from Fiorentina fans directed at Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Victor Osimhen and Andre-Frank Anguissa on Sunday.

“It’s unacceptable,” Chiellini said. ‘I was ashamed as an Italian, as a Tuscan. It’s shameful because in Europe Italy is talked about as a racist country and I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.

Giorgio Chiellini says he was ‘ashamed as an Italian’ after more racist abuse in his country

“Everyone has to do more. It is terrible publicity for Italy abroad. We all have to make an effort, but we need laws that are applied and enforced. That is the most important.’

Chiellini, the oldest statesman of Italian football, has started the season in strong form for club and country, rejuvenated by the thrill of success at Euro 2020 when Mancini’s team defeated England on penalties in the final.

“The memories are fresh and we still have the emotions in our heads and hearts,” said the 37-year-old Italy-Juventus captain. ‘I’ve really gotten a boost and a lift in energy over the past few months.

Napoli's Victor Osimhen (L), Kalidou Koulibaly (R) and Andre Frank Anguissa (not pictured) were racially abused by Fiorentina fans last weekend

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen (L), Kalidou Koulibaly (R) and Andre Frank Anguissa (not pictured) were racially abused by Fiorentina fans last weekend

Italian defender, 37, said racist incidents are 'terrible publicity for Italy abroad'

Italian defender, 37, said racist incidents are ‘terrible publicity for Italy abroad’

“It has given me a new lease of life. I really enjoy every moment of my footballing old age. From 32 I have enjoyed it more than the previous years. We’ll see how far it goes.’

The Nations League is in its second edition – Portugal was the inaugural winner in 2019 – and this year has a prestigious final four.

Italy will take on Spain tonight in Milan, a repeat of the pulsating Euro 2020 semi-final, for the right to take on the winners of Thursday’s semi-final between World Cup holders France and Belgium, the number 1 of the world, in Turin.

“It’s a big prize for us and we want to win something,” said Spanish boss Luis Enrique, who hailed the Italians as the “best side of Europe” and appeared to appeal to the laws of probability, noting that “asked or let them lose.

Chiellini hopes to extend the Azzurri's undefeated streak after their Euro 2020 triumph

Chiellini hopes to extend the Azzurri’s undefeated streak after their Euro 2020 triumph

“He’s right, it will happen sooner or later,” said Mancini, whose team has not been beaten since September 2019. “But we hope we can remain undefeated well into December 2022.”

This week’s Nations League games will continue without the undercover Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) observers due to their stalemate with UEFA.

European football’s governing body faces a race against time to strike a deal with FARE, which will provide independent and undercover monitors to identify fans abusive in high-risk matches, and many more will follow. more games to continue unattended.

Some 80 games have already been played this season without FARE’s spotters, who would normally have been in the crowd for the Nations League finals to monitor any instances of discrimination.

The next round of European club matches in a fortnight could also bring some worrying games, including Leicester’s trip to Spartak Moscow.

Elsewhere, UEFA faces a race against time to negotiate a deal with FARE, which will provide assistance in identifying fans who use abusive name-calling during matches

Elsewhere, UEFA faces a race against time to negotiate a deal with FARE, which will provide assistance in identifying fans who use abusive name-calling during matches

Rangers’ Europa League match at Sparta Prague last week was unchecked and Scottish champions Glen Kamara’s midfielder was the target of the crowd. Kamara was booed after he was also racially abused by Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela last season, resulting in the defender’s 10-game ban.

Kamara’s lawyer Aamer Anwar said: “It is simply unbelievable that UEFA no longer has independent observers at European matches when it is their job to report on racist behaviour.

“Just after Glen Kamara, this shows that the fight against racism for UEFA is nothing more than a PR exercise.”

TV: Italy v Spain, Nations League semi-finals. Kick-off: 7:45 PM, LIVE on Sky Sports Football.

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