Inter Milan star Francesco Acerbi has become the latest soccer player across Europe to be accused of racism. The defender allegedly hurled a racial slur towards Napoli center-back Juan Jesus during a game on March 17th. Jesus reported the supposed remarks to the match referee at the time.

Nevertheless, Serie A officials announced on Tuesday that Acerbi will not face any disciplinary consequences for the remark. The Italian top flight asserts that there was not enough evidence in the situation to prove the allegation. This comes even though the league executives read the referee’s report, interviewed players on both sides and reviewed video of the incident.

Jesus, however, sticks by his claims regarding the event. The defender took to social media following Serie A’s announcement to lambast the handling of the incident. Acerbi, on the other hand, has maintained that he never said the racist remarks to the Inter defender. The alleged comment came in the middle of the Italian league’s ‘Keep Racism Out’ campaign.

Italian, Spanish leagues have particularly high racist incidents

The situation is far from an isolated incident within the Italian top flight. Serie A has an unfortunate lengthy history of mishandling racism during soccer matches. Roma star striker Romelu Lukaku was ridiculously sent off late in a match last season while with Inter. The forward dealt with racist chants from Juventus fans throughout the game and finally yelled back at the rival supporters after scoring a penalty kick.

Prior to the Lukaku situation, Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci was seen berating teammate Moise Kean after the striker was the subject of racial abuse in 2019. The veteran center-back even claimed Kean was partly responsible for the incident. These are only just a few incidents regarding racism within Serie A in recent years.

The Italian league, however, is far from the only European division to experience such situations. LaLiga officials have come under fire as well throughout the years for their mismanagement of similar incidents. Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior continues to suffer excessive racial abuse from rival Spanish fans.

The young Brazilian’s recent discussion on racism during a press conference moved the star to tears before Spain hosted Brazil in a friendly. Dani Carvajal, a teammate of Vinicius at Real, went on to claim that Spain is not a racist country despite the many incidents within LaLiga. Nevertheless, there certainly appears to be a plethora of people inside the nation who use soccer games to voice their racist feelings.

Anti-racism campaigns do not deter discrimination

FIFA and UEFA are also not effectively combating racism. The governing bodies, along with specific leagues, have generally opted to issue minor consequences to clubs that have racist fans.

Juve previously picked up a one-match partial stadium ban for their supporters’ involvement in the aforementioned Lukaku situation. Spanish authorities also ordered Valencia to play five games without a full crowd for a previous incident with Vinicius Junior.

Despite the tame efforts by those in charge, racism remains all too prevalent during soccer matches. Fans potentially missing a couple of games is not exactly a tough punishment for those involved in the disgusting acts. The Acerbi incident occurring during Serie A’s ‘Keep Racism Out’ campaign is also an awful look for the league. Permanent stadium bans and legal action against those committing racist acts would prove to be a better preventative measure in these cases.