Inter Given Stadium Ban After Fans' Racial Abuse Toward Kalidou Koulibaly

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2018

In this image taken on Wednesday, Dec.26, Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, right, leaves the pitch after receiving a red card from the referee 2018 during a Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Napoli, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. At left is Inter Milan's Kwadwo Asamoah. Cristiano Ronaldo has come to the defense of Kalidou Koulibaly after the Napoli defender was the target of racist chants during a match at Inter Milan. Next to a photo of him being marked by Koulibaly during a match earlier this season, Ronaldo writes on Instagram,
Luca Bruno/Associated Press

Inter Milan have been given a two-match stadium ban following the racist abuse Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly received on Wednesday from fans at the San Siro.

On Thursday, the FIGC―Italy's football federation―announced the Nerazzuri will play two matches behind closed doors and that one of their stadium's stands, the Curva Nord, will be shut down for a third, per Football Italia.

Napoli's Italian forward Lorenzo Insigne (2ndR) holds off Napoli's Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly (R) as referee Paolo Mazzoleni (4thL) argues with Napoli's Belgian forward Dries Mertens after Koulibaly received a red card during the Italian Serie
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Per BBC Sport, Inter have the option to appeal.

Koulibaly himself has been suspended for two matches after he was sent off for "sarcastic applause" of the referee after being booked during the game.

The Senegal international received constant abuse throughout the 1-0 loss, and Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti said he asked the referee to suspend the match on three separate occasions, per sportswriter James Horncastle:

The 27-year-old took to social media after the contest:

The FIGC said they arrived at the punishment after taking into account "the aggravating circumstances related to their repetition and the climate created inside the stadium." Koulibaly has been on the receiving end of abuse before, and Juventus received a stadium ban of their own in a similar situation earlier this season, per Goal's Taiye Taiwo.

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Koulibaly received support from fans and players after the match, including Cristiano Ronaldo:

The abuse from the fans wasn't the only thing that marred Wednesday's marquee clash, as violence erupted before and during the match. Four Napoli fans were stabbed before and during the encounter, while an Inter fan was killed after being hit by an SUV before the game.

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