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Matuidi fury at racist abuse in Cagliari Serie A game


Cagliari (Italy) (AFP) – Juventus’s French midfielder Blaise Matuidi has hit out after he suffered racist abuse during Saturday’s Serie A game against Cagliari in Sardinia and was ignored when he asked the referee to intervene.

“Today I experienced racism during the match. Weak people try to intimidate with hate, I am not a hater and can only be sorry for those who set bad examples,” Matuidi said in a statement to AFP.

“Football is a way to spread equality, passion and inspiration and this is what I am here for. Peace,” the 30-year-old added.

The incident took place just before half-time as the French international engaged in a tackle with a Cagliari defender. Television footage showed an angry Matuidi looking towards the stands in the Sardegna Arena.

After unsuccessfully approaching the referee to seek his intervention a furious Matuidi was calmed down and led away by his Juventus teammates Paulo Dybala and Mehdi Benatia.

Juventus went on to win the game 1-0, when Italian winger Fernando Bernardeschi scored after 74 minutes.

The former Paris Saint-Germain player suffered similar racist chants during a match in Verona last month for which the club was fined 20,000 euros ($24,000) by the Italian league.

Last season Ghanaian Sulley Muntari — who then played for Pescara — walked off the pitch in Cagliari after being targeted by racist abuse.

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