AC Milan 'furious' at being ordered to play behind closed doors at San Siro after fans 'abuse southern Italians'
Fans chanted 'We are not Neapolitans' at Napoli supporters at the weekend
Tuesday 08 October 2013
Italy's football authorities have ordered AC Milan to play its next game behind closed doors and fined the club 50,000 euros following abusive chants by supporters against southern club Napoli.
During Sunday's match against Juventus in Turin, hundreds of Milan supporters shouted "We are not Neapolitans", a chant the Naples daily Il Mattino said reflected long-standing contempt for the south by northern clubs.
In the fiercely territorial world of Italian soccer, abusive rivalry between supporters of clubs in the rich north and those in the poorer south is not uncommon and Milan officials reacted with shock to the verdict by Serie A sporting judges.
"To say I'm furious would be putting it mildly," Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani told reporters. "I understand that racism is a big problem, a problem everywhere in the world but...here in Italy we have invented territorial discrimination for ourselves
"I called (Italian football) president (Giancarlo) Abete to ask whether he thinks that this rule is just. What I ask is that it is abolished."
A spokesman from the football federation (FIGC) said the rules were being applied in line with UEFA guidelines.
"It's not as though the rules are imposed on any club. It's down to a judge to decide on the punishment, and they can make their case against any decision," the spokesman said.
The sentence means that Milan, in 12th place in the Serie A standings after a 3-2 loss to Juventus on Sunday, will play its next home game on October 19 against Udinese behind closed doors.
The Serie A sporting judges also banned Milan defender Philippe Mexes for four matches for violent conduct after video evidence showed him punching Juventus player Giorgio Chiellini as Juventus was taking a corner.
The punch was not seen by the referee but Mexes was sent off for a second yellow card.
Latest in Sport
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match after suffering muscle injury
Mario Balotelli posts hilarious Beatles picture on Instagram as he awaits Liverpool debut
Arsenal vs Besiktas player ratings: Alexis Sanchez? Jack Wilshere? Mesut Ozil? Who was the star man at the Emirates Stadium?
Champions League draw: Liverpool meet Real Madrid, but should they fear facing the reigning champions?
William Carvalho to Manchester United: Midfielder on the cards for Louis van Gaal after Arturo Vidal doubts grow
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage