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Racism in football: Fiorentina gets suspended one-match stand ban for racist chanting

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Fiorentina has been given a suspended one-match stand closure for racists chants fans directed at three Juventus players, Serie A said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Serie A said that hardcore Fiorentina fans in the Curva Fiesole section of the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence racially abused Dusan Vlahovic, Moise Kean and Weston McKennie before and after Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat to Juve.

Serie A said the punishment would be suspended for a year but that the stand would be closed for a match should fans racially abuse players during that period, with another sanction also to be inflicted for any new offence.

The racist abuse is the latest in a litany of such incidents in Italian football where far-right fans groups are common and racial discrimination from the stands a semi-regular occurrence.

ALSO READ: Vinicius vows to continue fight against racism as he wins Socrates Award

In August The United Nations committee responsible for combating racism “raised a red flag” over Italian football, highlighting acts “including physical and verbal attacks against athletes of African descent”.

The Italian word for gypsy is also used by sections of football supporters as a racial slur for players from the Balkans and eastern Europe, regardless of their ethnicity.

Sunday’s match was played without a large chunk of Fiorentina’s hardcore ultras, who left their places in the Curva Fiesole empty in protest at a match that they believed should not have gone ahead with much of Tuscany suffering from deadly flooding.

Record rainfall brought by Storm Ciaran led to floods sweeping the region and seven people dying, with the ultras and Florence’s mayor Dario Nardella demanding in vain that the match be called off.

With the worst of the weather gone by kick-off the protesting ultras opted instead to help the clean-up operation.

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