Serie A chief threatens to suspend league action as Inter fan dies
27th December 2018

Serie A chief threatens to suspend league as Inter Milan fan dies after being run over during 60-man brawl with Napoli ultras as four others are stabbed before match that saw Kalidou Koulibaly racially abused

  • An Inter Milan supporter died on Thursday morning after a fight on Boxing Day
  • Inter Milan and Napoli fans clashed before the Serie A fixture at the San Siro
  • Reports suggest around 60 supporters were involved in fights before the game
  • It has been reported the man was hit by a van which was driven by Napoli fans 
  • Match was also marred by racism as fans directed abuse at Kalidou Koulibaly

Serie A could be suspended after an Inter Milan supporter died following a fight with Napoli fans in which four people were stabbed. 

The 35-year-old Inter fan is believed to have been rushed to hospital after being hit by a van which, according to reports in Italy, was being driven by Napoli fans an hour before kick-off at the San Siro on Wednesday.

He underwent emergency surgery but died from his injuries. 

Violent clashes between fans occurred before the league fixture between Inter and Napoli

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‘The van driven by Napoli ultras was stopped by Inter ultras who wanted to fight and were using chains and sticks’, reported Corriere della Sera. ‘The two group of fans begun clashes and a Napoli ultra was stabbed, but his conditions were not critical. At some point, Napoli fans managed to get back in the van and hit the 35-year-old Inter fan on their way to the stadium.’

It was also reported in the Italian press that rival fans had been armed with chains and hammers and around 60 people were involved in the brawl.

Italian FA president Gabriele Gravina has threatened to stop league games from taking place following the tragic incident.   

Inter won 1-0 with Napoli having two players sent off, including Kalidou Koulibaly. The Senegal international defender was subjected to racial abuse with the away side asking for the match to be halted after the 27-year-old was repeatedly subjected to monkey noises.

An Inter supporter died following a clash between around 60 fans before Wednesday’s game

Kalidou Koulibaly (right) was subjected to racist monkey chanting from fans in the San Siro

The Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, made a public apology on Thursday, describing the racist chanting as a ‘shameful act’ and asking Koulibaly’s forgiveness.

‘The boos aimed at Koulibaly were shameful,’ said Sala on Facebook. ‘A shameful act towards a true athlete who wears the colour of his skin with pride.’

The mayor, who was at the San Siro for the match, said he would continue to go to games but would not tolerate any racist chanting.

‘I will continue to watch Inter but at the first chant I will make a small gesture. I will get up and leave. I will do it for myself, aware that whoever abuses a black athlete won’t give a damn about me,’ said Sala.

‘I apologise to Kalidou Koulibaly on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Milan who testify to feeling that we are brothers even in these difficult times.’ 

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti revealed that the staff had asked the referee three times to suspend the match because of the chants.

‘The solution exists,’ Ancelotti told Sky. ‘You have to stop the match. You just have to know when, after how many announcements. And if we don’t know, then next time we may have to stop play ourselves.’

Koulibaly apologised on Twitter for the defeat and being sent off but said: ‘I am proud of the colour of my skin. (Proud) to be French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man.’

The abuse of the central defender led Carlo Ancelotti to ask for play to be suspended

 Lautaro Martinez’s goal won it for Luciano Spalletti’s side but the Inter boss said: ‘Racist chanting should not be taking place. If 65,000 people come and watch the match on Christmas, they want to see something else. This is the football that Italians and the people around the world want to enjoy.

‘People want to find football a pleasant place to be together, this is the change of mentality we have to make.

‘This is the right thing to do because our objective is to bring our football up to the top in Europe.’ 

Cristiano Ronaldo leaped to the defence of Kalidou Koulibaly after the defender was the target of racist chants.

Next to a photo of him being marked by Koulibaly during a match between Napoli and Juventus earlier this season, Ronaldo writes in Italian on Instagram: ‘Education and respect are needed in the world and in football. No to racism and to any offence and discrimination.’

Cristiano Ronaldo posted his message of support to Koulibaly along with this photo

View this post on Instagram

Nel mondo e nel calcio Ci vorreberro sempre educazione e rispetto. No al razzismo e a qualunque offesa e discrimination!!!

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

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