ROME Italy's soccer federation has overturned a one-match ban handed to Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari for walking off during a match after complaining about racist chanting, world players' union FIFPro said on Friday.
"I feel that someone has finally listened to me".
"I will choose whoever is in the best shape and whoever is working hard".
Per Digby, Muntari explained the decision to card him, rather than address the problem with the fans, was the reason he walked off: "That's where I got angry".
"Many people and organisations such as FIFPro and the United Nations supported me and I would like to thank everyone who assisted me", said Muntari, who can now play in Sunday's match at home to Crotone.
"I was being treated like a criminal".
"I hope my case can help so that other footballers do not suffer like me".
"I hope this is a turning point in Italy and shows what it means to stand up for your rights", said Muntari, 32. Sulley is obviously distraught about what happened; but most importantly he wants changes in the way we deal with racism in football.
The incident attracted referee Daniele Minelli.
- Mr Yeboah (@ikejnr_23) May 1, 2017Still waiting to hear expressions of solidarity from a single Serie A player who isn't black.
Britain's Kick It Out anti-discrimination group had called Italy's football authorities "gutless" over the ban.
"What am I supposed to do?" Muntari said on Sky Calcio after the game "That sets a bad culture".
Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero supported Muntari, he said: "You handled things perfectly". "You did everything right". The fans messed up, but the referee should have done something different, not accuse me. "There's so much talk about what we should do, but then we do nothing and shrug it off".
Pescara, bottom of the table, have already been relegated.