Inter has published an official statement confirming it will not appeal the stadium ban decreed by the sporting judge after Inter-Napoli. The ban was emanated as punishment for the racist chants directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly during the match.
As reported here, the sanction given to Inter would force the team to play the next two home matches behind closed doors, with the Curva Nord remaining closed for an additional home match. This meant that the games against Benevento in the Coppa Italia and against Sassuolo in Serie A would be played in front of empty stands, while Inter’s organised support section would remain closed for the match against Bologna as well.
As most anticipated, Inter will not appeal the ban, a decision that is now fully official. The club has requested, though, that kids from affiliated youth systems be allowed to attend the Sassuolo game in the absence of regular fans. This request was granted to Juventus a few months ago in similar case.
The statement reads: “[We believe it is] an important initiative to launch a strong and clear signal against all forms of discrimination and violence.” Indeed, with this choice, the club has distinguished itself from other Italian teams, once again underlining its dedication to ending discrimination in football stadia. In the case mentioned above, when Juventus was punished (more lightly) for racist chants directed at Koulibaly during this season’s Juventus-Napoli match, the club immediately appealed the decision. Hopefully, from now on, more Italian clubs will follow Inter’s example in their reaction to racist behaviour in their stadiums and to the sanctions that punish it.