Udinese ban for life person found to have abused Maignan

Udinese will ban for life a man found to have racially abused France goalkeeper Mike Maignan, the Serie A club
announced on Monday.

Maignan was abused during Udinese’ 3-2 defeat to AC Milan on Saturday, which was halted for five minutes in the first half after repeated offensive remarks from behind the goal he was defending.

“Udinese Calcio has identified the first individual responsible for discriminatory behaviour towards AC Milan player Mike Maignan,” said the club in a statement

“This person will face a lifetime ban from attending any Udinese Calcio matches. This ban is effective immediately.”

“We believe that such strong measures are necessary to send a clear message that racism has no place in football or society… we will continue to work tirelessly in order to identify and punish other individuals who were involved in this incident.”

Earlier on Monday, Italian media reported a 46-year-old man from near Udine in north-eastern Italy had been identified, and he is believe to be the same man in a video which circulated widely on social media.

In that video someone off camera can clearly be heard shouting the same racist insult at Maignan multiple times after Lazar Samardzic scored Udinese’s first-half equaliser, netted after play had resumed.

Maignan challenged Italy’s football authorities on Sunday by saying that “if you do nothing, you will also be complicit”.

Saturday was not the first time that Maignan has been racially abused by supporters in Italy as he was targeted by a Juventus fan in September 2021.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino called for worldwide stadium bans for fans and “automatic forfeits” for teams whose supporters hurl “abhorrent” abuse. BSS

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