Samuel Umtiti in tears after being targeted by racist shouting from Lazio fans

Samuel Umtiti and his Zambian Lecce team-mate Lameck Banda were targeted with racist shouting from Lazio Rome supporters on Wednesday night. The referee of the meeting, won by Lecce (2-1), was forced to stop the match a few moments in the second half, while insults had already been heard in the first half. The 2018 world champion left the pitch in tears at the end of the match, to a standing ovation from the Lecce crowd.

“The racist cries were overwhelmed by those of encouragement. All the giallorosso people started shouting one name, Samuel Umtiti,” the southern Italian club wrote on their Twitter account, along with the caption in English, “Leave racism aside” and photos of the defender. French.

Lots of support

“When the referee interrupted the match, waiting for the announcer to call for an end to the racist cries, Umtiti asked that the match be resumed, because he wanted to respond on the field to the insults received. He reacted like a true champion, ”commented the president of Lecce Saverio Sticchi Damiani, quoted on the website of the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Racist cries are a recurring phenomenon in Italian stadiums, especially from certain Lazio supporters known, for a fringe of them, to maintain links with the fascist history of the country. In August, Nigerian Victor Osimhen was the target of discriminatory cries in Verona. After a season and a half behind closed doors, racist incidents, recurring in Italy, returned to the stadiums last season. Koulibaly, Osimhen but also Mike Maignan or Zlatan Ibrahimovic had notably been victims.

In the evening, the two players from Lecce received a lot of support, including that of the FFF concerning the Frenchman. Fifa President Gianni Infantino expressed his “solidarity with Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda”. “Let’s shout loud and clear: NO TO RACISM! May the overwhelming majority of supporters, who are good people, rise up to silence all racists once and for all! “, he wrote on Instagram.

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