Muntari's one-match ban for protesting racial chants overturned

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The Ghanaian is now permitted to play during the weekend after his controversial one-match ban was lifted on Friday

Pescara will have Sulley Muntari available for Sunday's league clash with Crotone as the midfielder's one-match suspension for protesting during a racist incident last weekend has been overturned.

The Ghana international was set to serve the ban this weekend after picking up two yellow cards - one for dissent after complaining of racist chants directed at him by Cagliari fans and another for walking off the pitch - as his side lost 1-0 at Stadio Sant’Elia.

“They were chanting against me from the start, then in the first half I saw in the group there were some children and the parents said nothing,” Muntari explained to Sky Sport Italia after the game.

"I talked to the referee. He told me I did not have to talk to the fans. I asked him 'but didn't you hear that?'

“The fans were wrong, but the referee had to act differently; not accuse me of causing trouble. I am the victim here."

FIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for professional footballers, had called for the bookings to be "rescinded", arguing that "Muntari was well within his rights to approach referee Daniele Minelli, as the first point of reference, to make his grievances known and seek a solution".

Italian football authorities quashed Pescara's appeal on Tuesday, saying "the racist chants came from approximately 10 people, which was less than one per cent of about 2000 people who occupied the area of the stadium where the noises emanated from."

The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights aside, the move also angered Britain's anti-discrimination body Kick It Out, who slammed the football authorities, calling them "gutless" in the fight against racism.

Kick It Out urged all black players in Italy to boycott the weekend's matches in solidarity with Muntari if the ban was not rescinded.

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Several Ghanaian players including Afriyie Acquah, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Godfred Donsah openly declared support for the 32-year-old, with the last of the trio - who interestingly once played for Cagliari - backing the boycott calls.

Cagliari were unpunished by the Italian football authorities.

 

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