While condemning racism “in every infinitesimal form”, Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini made a pointed mention of players respecting fans.
Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini has insisted he condemns the alleged racist abuse of Moise Kean, but has suggested the Juventus striker did not show respect towards his club’s fans.
Kean scored Juve’s second goal of their 2-0 Serie A win in Sardinia on Tuesday and, while celebrating in front of a section of home fans, was allegedly a target of racist taunts.
Giulini said soon after the incident that the abuse was not racist in nature, telling Sky Sport Italia: “If Bernardeschi had celebrated like that, the same thing would have happened.”
There was more controversy after the final whistle when Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci said Kean should accept some of the blame for provoking the home fans, prompting an outcry from stars including Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Marseille’s Mario Balotelli and Lyon’s Memphis Depay.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) April 3, 2019
Giulini has moved to explain his initial reaction, insisting racism must be combatted, but he, like Bonucci, has questioned whether Kean showed enough respect to the supporters.
He said in a statement published via the club’s website: “Such a topic deserves a depth that I’m aware is complicated to express in one television studio in a few frantic minutes. Having said that, there are two aspects to consider:
“1. Even a single ‘boo’ should be condemned, always. But a condemnation is not enough. To defeat racism requires commitment, culture and initiatives.
“Everything that Cagliari do, from the Tifo School to the Curva Futura for children, from the Fourth Category of the Football Academy and other numerous activities, is aimed precisely at creating a different cultural context. And the realisation of our new home is part of this vision.
“Racism is to be condemned, but above all to be defeated. And to do that, we must add actions to words.
— Memphis (@Memphis) April 3, 2019
“We teach the kids of our youth academy that football is joy, fun. At the end of it all, the goal, is a wonderful moment to share. We do it every day, trying to learn from clubs like Barcelona or Manchester City, who for some time have worked with youth on these aspects.
“Last Friday, after his goal, Fabio Pisacane did not to go ‘challenge’ a group of fans who were already tense because of their situation in the table, but he mimed the gesture of a pregnant belly to share the joy with his team-mates.
“Despite all of this, we must all work hard to ensure that starting from the youngest fan we understand that to respect others, their state of mind and their frustration, is a gesture to be lauded. Always.
“I repeat, this is not a cause and effect issue, as nothing in any way can justify a racist ‘buu’. Racism is to be condemned, always, in every infinitesimal form.
“But the antibodies are created above all by teaching the new generations that football is joy and respect for others, which in turn makes us better people.
“In recent years, Cagliari have done important work to create a shared culture and the passing on of positive values, also through concrete actions, like the construction of an infrastructure to favour them.”