FIFA Backs Sulley Muntari Over Racist Abuse, Wants Italy FA Action Over Incident

FIFA has delivered a humiliating snub to Italian football authorities by fully backing Ghana star Sulley Muntari over his actions following his racist abuse during a Serie A match, the world governing body has exclusively told

FIFA says it is 'in full solidarity with Muntari' who was banned by the Italian FA for confronting the racists during the Serie A match against Cagliari.

Despite its support for Muntari, the world governing body says it is powerless in taking action against the Italian Serie A club Cagliari because it is not within its powers.

Muntari, who played in the English Premier League in the past, has drawn worldwide support for his action against racism in the sport. You can get the latest Premier League News at William Hill.

The Ghana star was given booking for complaining to the referee about racist abuse he received from some Cagliari fans and was slapped with a second yellow card for leaving the pitch without permission.

The referee's action indicated that Muntari was booked for dissent after asking the referee to stop Sunday's Serie A match after spotting some of the fans racially abusing him.

The 32-year-old ex-Ghana international then walked off the pitch in protest - for which he received a second yellow card, officials have now confirmed.

A Serie A disciplinary committee upheld his punishment but said it could not punish the fans as only "approximately 10" were involved in the racist chants - not enough to trigger action under its own guidelines.

They added not enough fans took part in the abuse to trigger action.

FIFA sharply disagreed with the ruling of Italy's FA Disciplinary Committee insisting that racism must not be condoned in football.

"FIFA first of all would like to express full solidarity with Muntari," a spokesman from the world governing body said in a statement to Ghana's leading football news outfit on Friday.

"Any form of racism on or outside the field is totally unacceptable and has no place in football.

"As to the disciplinary consequences, this falls under the jurisdiction of the relevant national body."

Garth Crooks, the ex-Tottenham striker and independent trustee of anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out, has called on players in the Italian league to strike this weekend unless Muntari's one-match suspension is withdrawn.

Bologna and Ghana midfielder Godfred Donsah has said is "100%" willing to go on strike to show solidarity with ex-Portsmouth and Inter Milan man Muntari. Italian football's reputation around the world has been damaged by the Sulley Muntari affair, the Italian Football Federation's anti-racism advisor says. Fiona May said the decision to uphold the Pescara midfielder's punishment for protesting against racism while taking no action against fans had "sent a bad message".