Italian soccer's problems with racism are well known. But just complicated the issue is became apparent after Tuesday's Cagliari-Juventus game.
After Juventus teenager Moise Kean,
who is black and was jeered by Cagliari fans all game, celebrated his late goal in the 2-0 win by spreading his arms and facing the crowd, he was immediately met with monkey chants from Cagliari's
Curva section. Juve players pleaded with referee Piero Giacomelli to stop the game.
After the game, Juve teammate Leonardo Bonucci was asked to respond. Instead of coming out with unequivocal condemnation of the chants, he said his young
teammate was partly to blame.
"Kean knows that when he scores a goal," Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia, "he has to focus on celebrating with his teammates. He knows he could've done
something differently, too. There were racist jeers after the goal. Blaise [Matuidi] heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn't have done that and the Curva
should not have reacted that way."
Kean, who was born in Italy to Ivorian parents, wasn't alone in being taunted. Matuidi, the French World Cup champion, and the Brazilian defender
Alex Sandro were also the subject of racist attacks during the game. But not only did Bonucci seem to blame Kean for provoking the fans but so too did their coach.
not have celebrated in that manner,” said Massimiliano Allegri. “He is a young man and has to learn, but certain things from the crowd also should not be heard. You need great
intelligence to deal with these situations and should not provoke people."
Only then did Allegri rebuke the Cagliari fans: "That, of course, does not mean the idiots in the crowd and the
way they reacted should be justified.”
On Wednesday, the comments were condemned.
"Nobody should justify racism in any way or form," Kean's agent, Mino Raiola,
told BBC Sport. "Racism is equal as ignorance. There is no excuse for it.
Federation, clubs and players should draw one line. A country like Italy should be leading on this given how many millions of Italians live abroad. You cannot be racist and Italian. You cannot be
human and racist. What happened to Kean is inexcusable."
Giorgio Chiellini, the captain at Juventus and the Italian national team on which Kean also plays, defended teenager after
watching the incident.
"Moise is a legacy of Italian football," Chiellini said, "a golden boy, who is doing his best and should not have to pretend for what he is not."