Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has hit out at a handful of Fiorentina supporters after being racially abused during the Partenopei’s 2-1 win over La Viola at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Serie A on Sunday.
Teammate Victor Osimhen had also been on the receiving end of monkey chants throughout the 90 minutes, but Koulibaly was the victim as he conducted his pitchside post-match interview.
Having fans back has been great. But there was a sour note in Florence today. Osimhen was on the end of some monkey chants – a handful of people – and then Koulibaly had something as he left the pitch. He stood and seemed to exchange words with the idiots. #FiorentinaNapoli pic.twitter.com/n0aCdUSRWt
— Conor Clancy (@ConJClancy) October 3, 2021
Leaving the pitch to walk down the tunnel in front of Fiorentina’s Curva Fiesole, the Senegalese defender stopped and re-emerged from the tunnel to confront the supporters. Engaging in a stand-off for a few minutes while club staff tried to usher him down the tunnel and into the dressing room.
“They called me a fucking monkey,” Koulibaly wrote on Twitter. “These people have nothing to do with sport. You have to identify them and keep them out of any event.”
“What did you call me?” the Napoli defender asked at the time, shouting to the Curva Fiesole. “Monkey? Come here and say it to my face.”
Teammate Osimhen also took to social media to share his thoughts on the abuse.
“Speak to your kids, your parents, make them understand how disgusting it is to hate an individual because of the colour of their skin,” Osimhen posted after the game.
“Fiorentina condemns the incidents of racism that took place during the match against Napoli on Sunday in the strongest terms,” read an official Fiorentina statement on Monday morning.
“General Manager Joe Barone personally apologised to Napoli and the players who were subjected to these shameful and intolerable chants after the match, on behalf of the club.
“Fiorentina has already provided the police with all video footage and other resources in order to ensure that the individuals responsible for the despicable chants are identified.
“Once the relevant authorities have identified those responsible, Fiorentina will ban them from the stadium and hopes that all other clubs do the same, in addition to ensuring that all rules are applied consistently for all.
“We were surprised that – on occasions such as Atalanta v Fiorentina – we did not see the same quick action and attention in the wake of equally shameful events targeting a Fiorentina player.
“President Commisso and all at ACF Fiorentina have long been engaged in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination and are disappointed that the ignorance and stupidity of a small group have brought shame not just to the club but to the city of Florence, for whom multiculturalism and integration are core values.”