Italian Ambassador apologises to Ghanaians over Muntari abuse

The Italian Ambassador exchanging pleasantries with the Sports Minister

The Italian Ambassador exchanging pleasantries with the Sports Minister

THE Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Giovanni Favilli, has rendered unqualified apology to the government and people of Ghana for the racist chant targeted at Ghanaian soccer star Sulley Ali Muntari, two months ago during a Serie A game between Pescara and Cagliari.

Mr Favilli, who paid a courtesy call on the Sports Minister Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, on Wednesday afternoon to present the letter of apology to him, noted that he acted swiftly upon receiving a strong-worded letter from the Youth and Sports Ministry registering their displeasure at the incident.

Describing the incident as very despicable, the Ambassador noted that the Cagliari incident was an isolated event that does not define the relationship between Italy and Ghana, and between Italian football and Ghanaian footballers.

“The disrespectful hoots came from a very limited number of spectators and they were heard only because it happened in a stadium where fans were silent because they were on a “supporting strike.”

According to him, the history of Ghanaian footballers in Italy goes back a long way to 1991, when the Under-17 national team played in the Italia 1991 U-17 tournament after which seven Ghanaian players were recruited after that tournament.

Today, with around 90 players active in different leagues (over 140 throughout the years), Italy is the country that has the highest number of Ghanaian footballers outside Ghana. It is a history of success and mutual satisfaction.

To further show his remorse for the incident, the Ambassador took the opportunity to invite the minister and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to its annual Calcio Trade Ball 2017 to be held on June 13 at the residence of the Italian Ambassador. The event, organised to celebrate football, sport and cultural relationship between Italy and Ghana, will have over 20 football players in Italy, members of government and the diplomatic corps, business men and women, celebrities from the cultural, sports and media world.

“I would be happy if you would honour my invitation and participate as well as appreciate first-hand the relationship that Ghanaian footballers have with Italy and Italians.”

Early last month, Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari left the Serie A match against Cagliari after the referee failed to take action to halt alleged racist chanting from the stands.

By Raymond Ackumey

 

 

 

 

 

The Italian Ambassador exchanging pleasantries with the Sports Minister

The Italian Ambassador exchanging pleasantries with the Sports Minister

 

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