PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Not bothered by latest racist chants

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Not bothered by latest racist chants
Udinese's Silvan Widmer (C) and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (R) in action during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Udinese Calcio and SSC Napoli at Friuli stadium in Udine, Italy, 26 November 2017. EPA/ALBERTO LANCIA

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Jan 23, 2018. 13:00

Senegal and Napoli Societa Sportiva Calcio defender, Kalidou Koulibaly has suffered a setback off the field of play after he was a victim of racist chants in the Italian Serie A.

The Lions of Teranga centre back was a victim after a bottle was thrown at him in their 1-0 win over Atalanta last Sunday.

It is reported that the incident took place immediately after his team took the lead in the Serie A clash as the home supporters hurled the abuse at the Senegalese international.

A small bottle was launched from the Atalanta supporters section and hit the defender, with chants directed at the Chelsea target.

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Although the referee reportedly took notes of the behaviour, the 26-year-old didn't comment on the abuse, but he has been vocal in the past.

A Serie A clash against Lazio in 2016 was suspended when the opposing fans booed Koulibaly every time he touched the ball.

In showing their support, Napoli fans rallied around the centre-back holding up pictures of his face at their next home match while Lazio received a fine and a stadium ban for their supporters.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup bound player took to his Instagram to post a message of gratitude from the club’s faithful.

"Great family, beautiful victory! Good brothers, Naples I love you,” he said.

On the other hand, manager Maurizio Sarri said the central defender is no longer angry after such racist chants.

"Koulibaly nervous about having heard of racist choirs? I think that the anger has passed,” he adds.

"There are various forms of racism, the most annoying one is perhaps the one suffered by Koulibaly, but also feeling terrified for 90 minutes is not pleasant."





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