"When my mother asked me what had happened, I was ashamed. Racism hurts, it hurts a lot. It cost me to tell him that, once again, thousands of people had offended, insulted and humiliated me. " This is how Kalidou Koulibaly, the Senegalese-born Napoli defender, summed up on Friday the appeal court of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) what he had felt at San Siro on 26 December. That night, during Inter-Napoli, he was the victim of the cries of buuuuu racist part of the fans neroazzurra throughout the game. Nervous, he was sent off for a double yellow in the 80th minute; for a foul and for applauding the referee.
The Napoli resorted the two parties of sanction; the Federation rejected the appeal. Two games behind closed doors and a third closed to the bottom of the ultras is the punishment imposed on Inter. The first of those two games, this Saturday against Sassuolo. The Milanese club did not appeal the sanction; He chose to do two things. One, ask the Federation to allow 11,000 children from football schools and colleges in the Lombardy region to enter the stadium because they are the ones who can set the example. Second, launch a campaign to condemn racism and fight against it.
Media House, the department that, since September 2017, is responsible for creating videos and multimedia content for the club's social networks neroazzurro, he recorded it last week. Buu, Brothers Universally United [hermanos universalmente unidos], is called. "We try to change the negative[the[elboo racist]so positive using the same weapon. It is the goal of this campaign, "explained Steven Zhang, president of Inter and one of the protagonists of the video.
It is the first one that comes out and teaches the boo that has written in La Palma of the hand. Mauro Icardi has it written on a ball, Javier Zanetti, historical captain and now vice president, has it on the mobile phone case. Luis Figo, who is still linked to the club as ambassador, has it written on a shirt and Samuel Eto'o in a scarf. Eto'o, who wore the shirt neroazzurra between 2009 and 2011, he was the victim of racist insults not only in Spain, but also in its stage in Serie A. In a Cagliari-Inter of October 2010, the referee suspended the match for three minutes to stop the chants against the striker. That did not happen on Inter-Naples day, despite Carlo Ancelotti asking the referee on more than one occasion.
"We have chosen these players because we think they are the most appropriate for the message to reach outside of Italy," Alessandro Antonello, delegate administrator of the club, said in a telephone conversation. The decision to launch the campaign was taken after the incidents of December 26 in San Siro. "The first thing was silence and reflection. Then we decided that something had to be done, to send a clear and strong message. We could not abstain, we could not take a position in a social problem like this. We did the only thing that had to be done. The decision was risky, because of the message, because that could not be understood well.booAnd because it was not clear that people welcomed her well. They are supporting us all, "adds Antonello.
Il Milan è al f'anco dell'Inter nella lotta contro il razzismo. Perché ci sono sfide in cui non esistono colori e che vanno oltre ogni rivalità.#AC Milan stands by @Inter in the fight against racism. Because there are challenges which go well beyond colors and rivalries. https://t.co/cSZAEO6ZI6
– AC Milan (@acmilan) January 18, 2019
The Napoli was, precisely, one of the clubs that retweeted in networks the video of the Milanese club. So has Fiorentina – "buu to racism, we are with Inter in this messages of unity against racism "- and Milan -" we are next to Inter in the fight against racism because there are challenges that go beyond colors and rivalries "-, among others.
"The only way to involve everyone is to go directly to the problem by positioning yourself in a strong and clear way. This campaign wants to be an instrument to fight against any form of discrimination and confirms the values in which Inter has been identified for 111 years, "Zhang explained. The founding fathers of the club neroazzurro they were called, in fact, fratelli del mondo [hermanos del mundo] and they always vindicated internationality and welcome those from outside. Those founding fathers decided, in 1908, to distance themselves from Milan, the only club in the city, because they opposed having foreign players. They founded FC Internazionale like this, in which the outsiders did have a place.
"This campaign is the way the club has chosen to transform an ugly episode of racism into an opportunity to get away definitively and to distance itself from certain behaviors in the stadium", is the appeal of the club's boss. Against the Sassuolo a huge banner was prepared in the center of the field with the motto of the new campaign neroazzurra; also around the ring that surrounds the first amphitheater, the place of the 11,000 children.
"The presence of the children is another sign, we wanted them to be, because they are the ones that allow us to look to the future with hope," says Antonello. The club campaign neroazzurro It is an important and necessary corollary in a championship in which a fan – the one from Lazio- came to mock, among others, Anne Frank and in which, according to a study from 2017, 36% of the intimidating actions, threats and violence suffered by the players are racist.