Udinese will play their next Serie A home match behind closed doors following alleged racist chants directed towards AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
Serie A judge Gerardo Mastrandrea made the decision on Tuesday, following on from Udinese issuing one lifetime ban to a supporter on Monday and pledging to remove other “evil people” from their stadium.
Udinese are now set to play their next top-flight home match, against Monza on February 3, without supporters in attendance.
The decision was reached after two stadium announcements were made by Udinese for the abuse to stop, but their continuation activated the clause for further punishment.
Udinese’s swiftness in identifying those involved and in cooperating with the authorities was acknowledged in the judgement.
The match on Saturday evening in Udine was briefly suspended following multiple first-half incidents which Maignan described as “monkey noises”.
Maignan, 28, signalled to his team-mates to halt play after Ruben Loftus-Cheek had put the visitors ahead in the 31st minute.
The France international then approached referee Fabio Maresca, appearing to indicate he had heard abuse from the Udinese home crowd.
Maignan subsequently walked to the sidelines where his Milan team-mates tried to console him, before he removed his gloves and walked down the tunnel. The game resumed after a short pause in play.
“After attempting the first clearance, I heard them (supporters) making monkey noises,” Maignan said after the match. “I said nothing the first time, but after it happened a second time I went to the dugout to inform them of what happened behind the goal.
“This shouldn’t exist in the world of football but unfortunately for many years, this is a recurrence. We all have to react, we must do something because you can’t play like this.
“OK, we accept the boos because that’s how it is away from home but this issue of racism must not reach this level. With all the cameras present and sanctions for these things, something must be done to change things.”
Milan won the match 3-2 to stay third in Serie A, with Udinese 16th.
(Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
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