Sassuolo fined over abuse

Sassuolo have been fined 30,000 euros (£26,000) by the Lega Serie A after a section of fans allegedly shouted racist abuse.

Last Updated: 01/08/13 at 16:21 Post Comment

Kevin Constant: Walked off the pitch in match against Sassuolo

Kevin Constant: Walked off the pitch in match against Sassuolo

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Sassuolo have been fined 30,000 euros (£26,000) by the Lega Serie A after a section of fans allegedly shouted racist abuse at AC Milan midfielder Kevin Constant in a friendly match last month.

The 26-year-old Guinea international kicked the ball into the crowd and walked off the pitch at Reggio Emilia's Stadio del Tricolore on July 23 after allegedly receiving abuse from a section of Sassuolo fans as he prepared to take a throw-in.

Milan, whose players have reacted to alleged racist chanting on several occasions this year, condemned the reported abuse but stressed Constant should not have reacted as he did, while newly-promoted Sassuolo denied any wrongdoing from their fans.

Reggio Emilia police determined that Constant was not racially abused during the match, but the Lega has reached a separate conclusion, fining Sassuolo while issuing the Milan player with a 3,000 euro (£2,600) fine for his response to the incident.

A statement published on legaserie.it read: "A 30,000 euro fine and a warning for Sassuolo for having supporters direct shouts and chants of racial discrimination at an opposition player in the 32nd minute of the game.

"A 3,000 euro fine for Kevin Constant, who kicked a ball towards a group of opposition fans who insulted him with shouts and chants of racial discrimination, before asking to be substituted and walking off the field of play, disrupting the game for around two minutes."

Italian champions Juventus, the third team involved in the pre-season TIM Trophy tournament, were also fined 30,000 euros after supporters were allegedly heard directing racist abuse at Milan midfielder Bakary Traore during a penalty shootout at the end of the opening game.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has also opened an investigation into the events in Reggio Emilia but the city's local DIGOS special operations taskforce today dismissed allegations of racism after speaking to police officers present at the game.

A statement published on Tuttosport read: "State police in service on the north side of the stadium, a few metres from where the incident is supposed to have occurred, reported that some Sassuolo fans in the lower part of the stand - who did not appear to be part of an organised group - were encouraging the player Constant not to waste time over a throw-in.

"They shouted 'Come on, move it!' and 'Get a move on!'.

"In particular, one Sassuolo fan, who has been identified, was heard to shout 'Come on, get a move on you sausage!' and another, who is yet to be identified, shouted 'Get a nose job!'.

"Subsequently, Constant angrily threw the ball into the section of fans and left the field of play while some Sassuolo supporters shouted 'Boo!' in disapproval."

The incident came seven months after Rossoneri midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng left the field in almost identical fashion after being the victim of racist abuse during a friendly against fourth-tier side Pro Patria.

On that occasion the Ghana midfielder was followed off by the rest of the Milan side and the match was abandoned. Pro Patria were fined and ordered to play a match behind closed doors while six fans were convicted of inciting racial hatred.

A league match between Milan and Roma on May 12 was suspended by referee Gianluca Rocchi for several minutes after striker Mario Balotelli complained about racist abuse from the crowd.

The FIGC subsequently fined Roma and enforced a partial closure of their Stadio Olimpico home for the start of the 2013-14 season.


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