AC Milan’s Kevin Constant walks off field, after more racist abuse in Italy

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Racism reared its ugly head once again in Italy, as Serie A giants AC Milan took on top-flight newcomers Sassuolo in a friendly.

In the game’s 34th minute, Milan’s Guinean international Kevin Constant walked off the pitch after alleged racial abuse from fans at the Stadio del Tricolore on Tuesday night.

The game continued, but repeated announcements over the stadium’s speakers urged fans to stop the racist chanting or the game would be abandoned. Milan lost the match 2-1, but that hardly mattered.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) had this to say on the latest allegations of racial abuse.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation to ascertain the extent of the racist incident that took place at the Stadio del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia during the Milan-Sassuolo match, which saw AC Milan player Kevin Constant the subject of chants from some supporters in the stands.

This incident once again raises the debate as to what players should do if they’re being racially abused whilst on the soccer pitch.

After the game Milan released a statement saying that, “this was not a decision he (Constant) should have taken upon himself to make.”

So a clear gray-area still exists as to what players should do when suffering from racist abuse.

(MORE: Kevin-Prince Boateng talks about his stand against racism)

Constant’s Milan teammate Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off in January, when Milan’s players were subject to similar abuse from the stands as the played Italian minnows Pro Patria in a friendly.

Boateng was applauded around the globe for his actions and has since been made the first member of FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force.

(MORE: UEFA brings in strict racism measures, as relegation and expulsion could be the punishment)

New rules have since been brought into play by FIFA and if there is sufficient evidence to suggest Constant was racially abused during Tuesday’s friendly tournament, then those involved should be extremely worried about the new hard-hitting sanctions coming their way.

Below is a short video clip of the incident (not the best quality), as Constant picks up the ball and kicks it towards the alleged group hurling racist taunts his way, much like Boateng did back in January. He is then approached by players from both teams, the referee and coaches trying to persuade him to play on, but Constant was having none of it.

I didn’t think we’d be speaking about this same topic in the exact same region so soon after the Boateng incident, but sadly we are.

Despite all the good work that’s going on to eradicate racism in soccer, incidents like these prove there’s still a long way to go.

(MORE: Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry advocates hard line on racism)

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer clubs, players and personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.