Samuel Umtiti breaks down after suffering racial abuse from Lazio fans

On loan Barcelona defender suffered from racist chants during Lecce’s 2-1 victory over Lazio on Wednesday night, as the scourge of the game continues to rear its ugly head ever more frequently.

Just a week after Vinicius Junior was the victim of racist behaviour for the fifth time in his Real Madrid career, Umtiti suffered a similar experience in Serie A. The French defender played 90 minutes during the match and on the final whistle broke down in tears.

“The racist chants have been subdued by courage. All the ‘giallorosso’ people have shouted a single name, that of Umtiti,” read a Lecce tweet after the match, referencing the reception Umtiti received from the home support.

After the match, President Saverio Sticchio Damiani explained to GdS (via MD) that Umtiti was keen to continue playing on through the adversity.

“When the referee stopped the game, waiting for the announcer to stop the racist chants, Umtiti asked him to restart it because he wanted to respond to the insults received on the field. He reacted like a true champion.”

After the match, Umtiti published a message on his Instagram saying “Just football, fun, joy. The rest doesn’t count.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino also took to social media in order to express his support for the French defender.

“Let’s shout loud and clear: no to racism. May the vast majority of fans, who are good people, stand up to silence all racists once and for all.”

Infantino’s message is in the right direction, but as football has consistently since its inception, it is struggles to deal effectively with racism. As head of the organisation that governs football, nobody is more responsible for that impotence than Infantino himself.

Tags Barcelona Lazio Lecce Samuel Umtiti
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