Inter Milan head coach Luciano Spalletti on Friday denounced racist chants that have been directed against Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and insisted it was high time soccer in Italy changed to banish racism.
Inter fans had yelled inappropriate remarks at several players, among them Senegal player Koulibaly, during a contest at the San Siro on Wednesday, reports Efe.
“I wholeheartedly condemn the incidents from the other evening,” Spalletti said at a press conference ahead of Inter’s upcoming match against Empoli. “The time has come to say enough is enough with racist and discriminatory chants and celebrating tragedies from the past.”
The Italian coach also added: “However, I want to highlight that the actions of the players out on the pitch was exemplary. In this sense, Inter’s constitution is clear: our club loves those who are different and also those who want to come and interact with our club and city.”
Serie A on Thursday ordered Inter Milan to play two matches behind closed doors due to the incident, while Spalletti expressed: “The disappointment of not being able to play in front of our own fans is great.” The coach added that if the measure could help in the combat what he described as a “bigger battle,” then his club gladly accepted the decision.
“Different behavior is needed and we want to enjoy these matches in a different context,” he said.
Inter is scheduled to take on Empoli at the Carlo Castellani stadium in Serie A tie on Saturday.