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FIFA’s Infantino Shows Support For Players On Racist Abuse

Gianni Infantino, president of football's world governing body FIFA, attends a press conference following the FIFA Council meeting in Auckland on October 22, 2022. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)

FIFA President Gianni Infantino called on fans to “shut up all racists” after Lecce defender Samuel Umtiti and teammate Lameck Banda were subjected to racial abuse during their home game against Lazio on Wednesday.  

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the match was paused for several minutes as an announcement was made in the stadium calling for the chants to be stopped  

Home fans chanted Umtit’s name to drown out the abuse and Lecce President Saverio Sticchi Damiani Said the French World Cup winner, who is on loan from Barcelona, had asked for the game to resume. 

Lecce trailed from behind to win the Seria A game 2-1, with Frenchman Umtiti leaving the pitch 

“Racist insults were drowned out by choruses of encouragement towards our champion,” Lecce said in a statement. 

Umtiti posted a message on Instagram saying: “Only football, fun, joy. The rest doesn’t count.”
 
Infantino showed his support for Umtiti and Zambian Banda in social media post. 

“Solidarity with Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda – let’s shout it loud and clear: No to racism,” he wrote as a caption to photos of Umtiti and Banda. 

“May the huge majority of fans, who are good people, stand up to shut up all the racists once and for all.”

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