Inter and Napoli was the pick of Serie A's St. Stephen's Day slate. While Inter scraped a win with an injury time winner from Lautaro Martinez, the game was overshadowed by the goal being sandwiched between two Napoli red cards, the racist abuse throughout the game coming from the Inter fans in the San Siro, and the aftermath to that behaviour.
Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly was the first to go, after picking up successive yellow cards for a foul followed by the sarcastic clapping of the referee. It followed 80 minutes of monkey chants from the Inter fans, which clearly rattled and angered the defender. The Napoli bench appealed for the game to be stopped, but it was ignored by the authorities who did make announcements to warn the fans for their behaviour.
After the game, his manager Carlo Ancelotti was particularly angry, especially at the refusal of his continuous requests to stop the game on the back of the repeated racist abuse.
Koulibaly himself has made a statement on Twitter saying, "I'm proud of the colour of my skin."
Mi dispiace la sconfitta e sopratutto avere lasciato i miei fratelli!
Però sono orgoglioso del colore della mia pelle. Di essere francese, senegalese, napoletano: uomo.
⚽ #InterNapoli 1-0
🇸🇳 #KK26 #famiglia
💪🏿 #DifendoLaCittà pic.twitter.com/f9q0KYggcw
— Koulibaly Kalidou (@kkoulibaly26) December 26, 2018
Footballers around the world have been quick to condemn the treatment of Koulibaly by Inter fans, something we're sadly all to familiar with, especially in recent months.
— Dries Mertens (@dries_mertens14) December 27, 2018
Really!? Koulibaly racially abused at San Siro. Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge.. This is unacceptable! Elected politicians set the tone with divisive rhetoric granted but some level of reason has to return! Respect Ancelotti and Napoli teammates for post match comments.
— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) December 27, 2018
There’s no place for racism in football. There’s no place for racism anywhere at all. pic.twitter.com/d2YwWSbXJe
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) December 27, 2018
Meanwhile, according to the Italian Deputy Prime Minister, the whole thing is no big deal. Matteo Salvini, leader of the populist anti-immigrant Lega, described it as "healthy teasing"
Bonucci was booed by the Milan fans, is that racism? Healthy teasing among fans is not to be considered racism.
Inter's punishment for their fans behaviour will be playing their next two home games behind closed doors, so at least the Italian authorities are taking the matter seriously, even if their government isn't.