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Italian league probe Matuidi racist abuse claims

France midfielder Blaise Matuidi (C) celebrates with Juventus teammate Gonzalo Higuain
AFP

Milan (AFP) – The Italian league are investigating reports that Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi was the victim of racist abuse during Saturday’s Serie A game against Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Serie A disciplinary officials said Monday all three of their observers present in the San Siro heard “chants expressing racial discrimination… which lasted for a few seconds” aimed at the French international.

The chanting reportedly came from all three levels of the ‘Curva Verde’ occupied by Inter Milan fans and took place 55 minutes into the game, which Juventus won 3-2 with two goals in the final three minutes.

But before any ruling can be made officials, in accordance with rules governing discrimination in the Italian game, have to gather data to ascertain how many fans were involved.

“We must acquire the data, even an approximate estimate, on the occupancy of the sectors involved, as well as receive confirmation that the chants heard came from all three sectors of the Curva Verde, as indicated in the report,” Serie A said in a statement.

The punishment will depend on how many fans took part and how loud the chanting was, it added.

Midfielder Matuidi has been the victim of similar abuse twice this season, by fans in Verona and Cagliari.

Verona were handed a 20,000 euro ($24,000) fine and a suspended partial stadium ban, but Cagliari were not punished although the club issued an apology to the 31-year-old French player.

Matuidi, who has 64 caps for France, joined Juventus before the start of the current season from Paris Saint-Germain and has scored three times for the Italian champions.

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