Two days after the incidents which marred the Italian championship match between Udinese and AC Milan, a first sanction fell. One of the individuals who uttered racist insults on Saturday evening towards the French goalkeeper of the Milan club, Mike Maignan, was identified and banned for life from the Udine stadium, the Udinese club announced on Monday January 22.

“Together with the police and using the Bluenergy Stadium security cameras, Udinese identified a first spectator who had engaged in discriminatory behavior towards Mike Maignan,” explained the Serie A club. “This individual is banned for life from attending Udinese matches and this sanction began immediately,” the text continues. “We believe that strong measures like this are necessary to send a clear message: racism has no place in football or in our society,” insisted Udinese.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper of the French team, born in Guyana to a Guadeloupean father and a Haitian mother, was the target of monkey cries on Saturday evening in Udine, during a match on the 21st day of the Italian Championship. After first alerting the referee of the match, he then left the field in the 34th minute, imitated by his teammates, before resuming the match and winning it 3-2.

Many supports

“I was angry, not disappointed, because it’s not the first time I’ve experienced this. My teammates, the staff, everyone told me to stay strong in my head and give the right answer on the pitch,” he explained after the match.

On Sunday, he then published a long message on his X account in which he calls on “an entire system” to take its responsibilities. The former goalkeeper, French Ligue 1 champion with Lille in 2021, notably received the support of the French Football Federation, as well as numerous players, French and foreign, including his captain in the Blues jersey, Kylian Mbappé.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino also condemned the actions against the French goalkeeper and called for the perpetrators of racist insults to be banned from all stadiums, as well as to introduce an “automatic forfeit” sanction for clubs whose supporters commit these misdeeds.

Monday, the day after its Coupe de France match against the Racing-Club de France in Chambly (Oise), the Lille club announced its intention to file a complaint against X after several of its supporters denounced racist comments coming from club parking lot.