The racism scandal surrounding former French world champion Samuel Umtiti even has FIFA President Gianni Infantino on the scene. The boss of the world association demands an end to the evil. Umtiti gets support from thousands of fans in the stadium, which moves him to tears.

At the end of the shameful evening in Apulia, the vast majority of fans made an impressive statement against hate. “Umtiti, Umtiti, Umtiti,” echoed thousands of voices through the Stadio Via del Mare when the previously humiliated man left the pitch in tears. Former football world champion Samuel Umtiti, who won the title with France in 2018, was racially insulted by guest supporters, just like his teammate Lameck Banda in US Lecce’s 2-1 (0-1) win against Lazio Rome.

The fact that the Italian Serie A game had to be temporarily interrupted due to the scandal provoked by the ranks even called the president of the world association FIFA into action. “Solidarity with Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda,” Gianni Infantino wrote on Instagram: “Let’s shout it loud and clear: NO TO RACISM. May the vast majority of fans, who are good people, stand up and end all racists once and for all shut up!”

To make the FIFA boss’s concerns even clearer, referee Livio Marinelli could have abandoned the game following hostilities against Cameroonian Umtiti and Zambia international Banda. Finally, the interruption of the game and the announcements by the stadium announcer demanding an end to the insults did not have the desired effect.

But the 29-year-old Umtiti, who Lecce loaned from FC Barcelona, ​​spoke out against a demolition. “He asked to continue the game,” said Lecce club boss Saverio Sticchi Damiani: “He wanted to react to the insults on the field. He behaved like a real champion. And it was nice to see how our fans reacted .” Umtiti contented himself with a brief comment after the final whistle. “Great victory,” he wrote on Instagram for a photo of himself in a jubilant pose.

Racism surrounding Italian football is not a new phenomenon. Incidents keep happening, fascist fan groups are widespread throughout the country. The Lazio ultras in particular have attracted negative attention several times in the past. Only recently did the German international Antonio Rüdiger report on the distressing memories of his time at AS Roma (2015 to 2017). The central defender told the news magazine “Stern” that the racist “monkey noises” from some spectators “hurt him a lot”: “I didn’t know anything like that from Germany. I thought those times were over.”

Umtiti’s compatriot Kingsley Coman recently had to find out that they are not. The offensive player from the German record champions Bayern Munich was racially insulted on social networks after failing in the penalty shoot-out in the lost World Cup final against Argentina.