Soccer  

FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants fans to ‘shut up all the racists’ after Umtiti, Banda abuse

FIFA President Gianni Infantino called on fans to “shut up all the racists” after Lecce defender Samuel Umtiti and teammate Lameck Banda were subjected to racial abuse during their home game against Lazio on Wednesday.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the match was paused for several minutes while an announcement was made in the stadium calling for the chants to be stopped.

Home fans chanted Umtiti’s name to drown out the abuse and Lecce president Saverio Sticchi Damiani said the French World Cup winner, who is on loan from Barcelona, had asked for the game to resume.

Lecce came from behind to win the Serie A game 2-1, with Umtiti leaving the pitch in tears.

“Racist insults were drowned out by choruses of encouragement towards our champion,” Lecce said in a statement.

Umtiti posted a message on Instagram saying: “Only football, fun, joy. The rest doesn’t count.”

Infantino showed his support for Umtiti and Zambian Banda in a social media post.

“Solidarity with Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda — let’s shout it loud and clear: No to racism,” he wrote as a caption to photos of Umtiti and Banda.

“May the huge majority of fans, who are good people, stand up to shut up all the racists once and for all.”