Sulley Muntari says he walked off the field against Cagliari because the referee instead of stopping the game to address the racial abuse against him he rather punished him.
Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch in protest after claiming he was being racially abused during Pescara’s defeat at Cagliari on Sunday.
The former Portsmouth midfielder and Ghana international, who also played for both Milan clubs, complained to the referee about the abuse but was booked for dissent.
Muntari left the field in protest leaving relegated Pescara to play out the final few minutes of the 1-0 loss with 10 men.
“They were chanting against me from the start,” Muntari said. “In the first half, I saw that there were some children in the group and so I turned to their parents and gave them my shirt, to set an example.
“The issue continued with another group of fans. I was reasoning with them, but the referee told me I had to let it go. That’s when I got angry. Because instead of stopping the game, he decided to punish me.”
The 32-year-old also remonstrated with the home fans as he left the pitch and held out his arm and shouted: “This is my colour, this is my colour.”
“Muntari asked the referee to intervene, but he did not do it,” said Pescara manager Zdenek Zeman after the match. “We talk so much about racism, but then we just move on.
“This happened to Muntari who has played in Italy for several years – we want to change the mentality.
“He left the field because of the chants, but we should not have to take justice into our own hands.”
Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero, who now works for Sky Italia as a pundit, backed Muntari for his protest.
“You handled things perfectly, your setting the example for tomorrow. You did everything right,” said Del Piero.