Serie A clubs call on Italian football fans to help end racism

Serie A clubs have penned an open letter asking football fans to help end racism in Italian football.

The letter, which calls for ‘serious change’, follows a string of racist incidents this season in Serie A - most notably chants aimed at both Mario Balotelli and Romelu Lukaku.

The former Manchester City striker threatened to walk off the pitch following the abuse he received at Verona, while Lukaku suffered monkey chants at Cagliari in September.

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All 20 teams have united - prompted by AC Milan - to call for help and plea to ‘act with speed’ in the fight against racism, which they add ‘shames us all’.

It also follows Fiorentina midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng’s vow to set up an anti-racism task force.

Statement in full:

“We have to publicly recognise that we have a serious problem with racism.

“It’s a problem that we have not done enough to combat over the years.

“Images of players being racially abused in Italian football have been viewed and discussed all around the world this season and that shames us all.

Romelu Lukaku scores against Cagliari (Credit: Getty Images)

“No individual should ever be subjected to racist abuse – inside or outside of football – and we can no longer stay silent on this issue or wait for it to magically disappear.

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“Driven by the clubs, positive conversations have been held in recent weeks with Lega Serie A, FIGC and international experts on how to tackle and eradicate this issue from the game.

“We, the undersigned clubs, are united by our desire for serious change and Lega Serie A has stated its intention to lead the way by delivering a comprehensive and robust Serie A anti-racism policy, stricter new laws and regulations and a plan for educating those within the game about the scourge of racism.

“We don’t have any more time to waste.

“We must now act with speed, with purpose and with unity and we call on you, the fans, to support us in this vitally important endeavour.

“Yours sincerely,

“Atalanta, Bologna, Brescia, Cagliari, Fiorentina, Genoa, Hellas Verona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Lecce, AC Milan, Napoli, Parma, AS Roma, Sampdoria, Sassuolo, SPAL, Torino, Udinese.”

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