Muntari accuses referee who sent him off for challenging racist abuse of lacking 'balls'

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The Pescara midfielder has seen his one-match ban rescinded on appeal, but the former Milan and Inter star has questioned the handling of the incident

Sulley Muntari says the referee who showed him two yellow cards for challenging racist chants “didn’t have the balls” to stop play.

The Pescara midfielder was booked for approaching a small group of Cagliari supporters at Stadio Stan’Elia a week ago, before seeing red for walking off the pitch in protest.

His one-match ban has been rescinded on appeal, but the former Milan and Inter star has questioned the handling of the incident by the match officials.

He told Italian satire show Le Iene: “The referee didn’t stop play because he didn’t have the balls.

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“If you are a man, you must have the balls to stop play. It’d just be for a second, but in that second, you can make a big difference. We are all created by God, the only difference is in the colour of our skin.”

Cagliari have faced no punishment and Muntari is eager to point out that he has no issue with the Serie A club.

He added: “Cagliari, the players and club weren’t at fault, so I cannot condemn them.

“I do not judge anyone. God judges everyone. I am human, just like them, and we all make mistakes, but you can’t kid around with things like this.

“I didn’t expect to be suspended and that was ugly… You tell me something, I ask ‘why?’ and I get banned? That’s not right.”

Sulley Muntari Cagliari Pescara

Muntari went on to explain his stance and the reasons why he acted like he did.

The former Ghana international said: “What happened is, in my view, not normal.

“We’re in 2017, aren’t we? Why do we walk out at the start of a game with children as mascots? To teach them good manners, then when they grow up, they become great men. We have to set the example, those of us on the pitch, the referee who blows the whistle, the linesman – everyone.

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“The kid said something and I went over to him with that tone, you know when speaking to children, they are innocent… I am sure he didn’t even know what he had said.

“I got closer and said to him: ‘You shouldn’t do things like that, it’s not right'. He ran off and I tried to get him to come back. I took off my own shirt and handed it to him to reassure him, because he was only little, so pure. Then I left.

“I didn’t talk to his father, because what was I meant to tell him? The parents are those who should teach their kids well and then they grow up to become good men, for themselves, for their parents, for all of Italy and all the world. Football is about peace, not war.”

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