With AC Milan having already been punished by Serie A twice this season for racist and derogatory chanting, the problem continues to persist.
As fans chanted insults directed at southern Italians during Milan’s 1-0 win over Udinese on Saturday, chief executive Adriano Galliani (pictured, standing) has thrown his hands in the air.
“We do not know what to do” said Galliani to Corriere dello Sport following the match. “I hope that this story is over and that we find a way to strike those directly responsible.”
It begs the question, how much can a club be continually responsible for their fans if they take appropriate action?
The PA announcer repeatedly warned fans during the match that their actions could bring more punishment and international shame on the club, but they continued to hurl insults at opposing players and fans.
Galliani says the problem lies with a particular group of fans, and he is sad to see them bring such bad press and backlash among the fanbase as a whole.
“We will segment the Curva Sud (a stand of the San Siro) because the choruses always come from a particular section. I do not think that a society can be continually punished if 50-60 people continue to sing certain songs.”
The match with Udinese was originally meant to be played behind closed doors as punishment for offenses by fans in previous matches, but the punishment was suspended by Serie A, which allowed fans to attend.
Galliani is hopeful the authorities will understand the club’s plea, but realizes there is a process that must be followed.
“I hope and pray that this is not the end of the Curva Sud,” Galliani said. “It is not for me to judge, there is a sports court and degrees of appeal.”
While there aren’t many fair options at the disposal of authorities to come down hard on those who decide to be derogatory during matches, it’s hard not to sympathize a little with the club that has been at the forefront of the controversy.