Ac Milan has announced it will raise an internal task force to address racism in Italian football. This will take place in this weekend’s derby against Inter.
The anti-racial movement will be supported by an external consultancy. It’s aim will be to develop a program of activities to increase awareness, monitor and address racist behavior on social media and in the stadium. It will also target to drive the adoption of global best practices on diversity and inclusion.
The club has held discussions on this initiative for several months. Luckily enough, it has accelerated the launch in wake of recent events.
The racist move comes after reports of racist chants directed at Milan midfielder Frank Kessie during a match at Hellas Verona last weekend.
At the same time, Romelu Lukaku was a victim to racism. Monkey chants were directed to him in a match at Cagliari this month after he stepped up to take a penalty.
Speaking after the incident, the striker said racism is driving football backward. He also encouraged players to unify and make a statement on this matter.
Inter Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis said, “Italian football needs to wake up and take a strong stance against racist behaviors.”
“AC Milan will take a leadership position on this issue. We believe that we have a moral obligation to address this issue.”
“Football provides an example of the strength of unity and teamwork.” Added Gazidis who is a South African.
“Similarly, diversity, inclusion and tolerance enhance the strength of the team, the club and the society as a whole.”
“We have a moral obligation to address this issue.”
On the other hand, Inter head coach, Antonio Conte believes racism in Italy has got worse in recent years.
He says, “Any form of insult is a problem. I see lots of hatred and resentment everywhere. We should send positive messages and not stir up rivalries.”
Consequently, incidents of racism has attracted different forms of reactions.
For example the Cagliari. They were later cleared of racist chanting with independent sports judging panel saying there was not enough evidence for any sanctions.
On the contrary, Luciano Passirani made a racist comment about Romelu Lukaku on air as well. To suffer the consequences, the pundit was banned from Italian television completely.
The great step taken by AC Milan could be what Italy has been waiting for.