Italian Soccer Bans Stars for Blasphemy

During the week, both Francesco Magnanelli playing for Sassuolo and Matteo Scozzarella playing for Parma has been handed a one-game suspension after they were filmed using God’s name in vain on the field. This took place during Sassuolo’s game against Verona which resulted in a 1-0 victory for the team and when Parma and Inter Milan clashed in a match ending in a draw of 2-2.

Over the past decade, there have been many instances where the Italian soccer authorities took disciplinary action against players who were guilty of blasphemy on the field. Using God’s name in vain is not acceptable behaviour according to the rules and guidelines of the soccer body. Although they are very soft in their approach towards both players and crowds who are making themselves guilty of racism, the same kind of tolerance is never seen when anyone is guilty of blasphemy.

Previous incidences occurred in 2018 when Rolando Mandragora, playing for Udinese, was also suspended for one game after being found guilty of blasphemy during a match against Sampdoria. The same rules apply for coaches. During the previous season, the coach of Atalanta, Gian Piero Gasperini was suspended. This was the result when he used profane language when his team was playing SPAL.

Italian Soccer Authorities Being Criticised

This occurred amidst a current wave of criticism towards the soccer authorities and their lack of action against those who make themselves guilty of racism. During September, the Football Federation stated that they wouldn’t punish Cagliari after they were accused of making racist chants during the game. These chants were directed towards Romelu Lukaku, playing striker for Inter Milan. The fans of Cagliari walked away without consequences for their behaviour. Also, the supporters of Hellas Verona got away scot-free after they were accused of racial abuse towards the midfielder for AC Milan, Franck Kessie.

Recently the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, requested that the FIGC will take more severe action against racist action during their games. He stated that he believes that racism can be reduced when proper education, as well as condemnation and open discussion, take place. He is strongly opposed to racism within any team or society. He also stated that over time the occurrence of racism within Italy has never improved. This is deemed as a difficult situation. He said that the perpetrators need to be identified and that they need to be thrown out of the stadiums. This should set an example of what happens when supporters make themselves guilty of such an offence. Currently, the Italian soccer authorities are letting them get away. This also sets the president that it is fine to continue with such behaviour. If the action of racist won’t get stopped, it will keep on continuing forever.