Sports

Italian Serie A 2023-24: Udinese To Play Home Game Without Fans After AC Milan's Mike Maignan Incident

Maignan received widespread support from the soccer world and started on Sunday calling for authorities to take stronger action

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AP
AC Milan's goalkeeper Mike Maignan in action during the Italian Serie A football match between Udinese and AC Milan Photo: AP
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Udinese will have to play its next home game in an empty stadium as punishment for racist abuse aimed at AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan. (More Football News)

The Serie A judge decided on Tuesday following widespread outrage after the incidents during Saturday's game in Udine.

League judge Gerardo Mastrandrea noted that despite two announcements inside the stadium asking fans to stop the abuse, there were no reports of other supporters disassociating themselves from the racist chants.

However, since Udinese cooperated with authorities and acted quickly to find the fans responsible for the abuse, the least severe sanction was applied.

Fans won't be allowed in for a game against Monza on February 3.

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Maignan, who is Black, walked off the field after being subjected to what he later said were monkey noises. The 28-year-old goalie was joined by his teammates and the match was suspended for about five minutes. They returned and Milan went on to win 3-2.

Udinese identified one of the fans responsible for the abuse and banned him for life on Monday as it vowed to do the same for the other “evil people” amid calls for tougher sanctions from authorities.

Maignan received widespread support from the soccer world and started on Sunday calling for authorities to take stronger action.

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There have been numerous racist incidents in Italian and European football for years, with victims in Italy including Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mario Balotelli and Romelu Lukaku.

This month, Lazio was sanctioned with a one-match partial stadium closure for racist chants directed at Lukaku.

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