Big speeches instead of taking action – Allegri not expecting elimination of racism in Italian football

The Juventus manager feels racism in Italian football will not be defeated until the country fronts up to its problem with “decisions”

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri believes a fear of making decisions is to blame for Italy’s failure to stamp out racism in football, saying there is more of a willingness to make “big speeches” rather than take action.

An incident at San Siro on December 26 saw Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly subjected to racist abuse from the stands during a clash with Inter.

Serie A responded by ordering Inter to play their following two home league games behind closed doors, but Italy is not the only country to be dealing with such problems.

Two high-profile incidents in English football towards the end of 2018 saw Raheem Sterling allegedly targeted for abuse by Chelsea fans, shortly after a Tottenham fan was accused of throwing a banana at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal.

Allegri finds the whole situation frustrating, not just because of the abuse, but also the responses of the Italian authorities, with the Juve coach demanding life bans be imposed on those found guilty.

“This isn’t anything new, many have spoken about it just to fill their mouths,” Allegri said on Friday.

“It’s very, very easy, it’s not a matter of splitting an atom in four. There are devices in the stadiums to identify who isn’t respecting the rules.

“If I’m not mistaken, the person who threw a banana at Aubameyang can’t go into stadiums anymore. In Italy we have a problem: there’s fear to make decisions.

“We are all scared of taking important decisions because these are very unpopular. You get him and you give him a lifetime ban.

“And then the second point [on making an on-pitch response]; say there is a penalty and racist abuse starts, what are we supposed to do?

“This thing amuses me, because I have heard many pundits saying this and that. In Italy we are world champions in these cases. Instead of hushing and acting, we all make big speeches when it’s better to hush.”

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