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Napoli's Koulibaly suggests harsher punishment for racist abuse

11:59 BST 13/10/2019
Kalidou Koulibaly - Napoli Cagliari
The Senegalese centre-back has urged Italian football authorities to deal with racism in a tougher manner

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly thinks Italian football chiefs need to start handing out lifetime bans to offenders of racist abuse.

The subject of racism has been very rife in Italy, with a host of stars including Kevin-Prince Boateng, Moise Kean, Romelu Lukaku, and Koulibaly himself targeted recently.

The 28-year-old, sharing his experience with racism in an interview with L'Equipe, said: ''The first experience of real racism was against Lazio during my second season. 

"During that match (February 2016), I really lost it. The monkey chants were so loud, I lost focus. I was no longer thinking about football and that really hurt.

" The staff were worried, the coach [Maurizio Sarr] offered to stop the match and walk off if it continued. The truth is, I felt embarrassed as if I didn't deserve to be there.

"Looking back, I should've felt the opposite: the racists should've felt ashamed. They're thugs and would never dare make those noises to my face. They can hide in a crowd and be anonymous. We've got to clamp down on it.

"Other countries are further ahead in the fight against racism, as for example in England they ban people for life. We need more drastic measures like that in Italy."

Koulibaly was part of the Senegal squad that drew 1-1 with Brazil in Singapore on Thursday, playing the entire match.

He returns to Serie A action with a home tie against Hellas Verona on Saturday before facing a tricky away tie to Salzburg in the Champions League four days later.