ROME, Jan 22 — AC Milan’s French goalkeeper Mike Maignan yesterday said clubs, fans and legal authorities who ignore racism in football will be seen to be “complicit” in its scourge.

Maignan, who was subjected to monkey chants by Udinese fans in a Serie A game on Saturday, talked of a mob mentality that shrugged off responsibility.

“It is easy to act in a group, in the anonymity from the stands,” he wrote on X.

“The spectators who were in the stand, who saw everything, who heard everything, but who chose to remain silent, you are complicit.”


Maignan said that he had first heard monkey chants during the match at Udinese when he collected the ball for his first goal kick, after which he “said nothing”.

“Then for the second goal kick they did it again. I called to the dugout and the fourth official and I told them what had happened. I said that we can’t play in these conditions.”

The referee Fabio Maresca stopped play for a period of five minutes.


“The Udinese club, which only spoke of an interruption to the match, as if nothing had happened, you are complicit,” he insisted.

“The authorities and the prosecutor, with everything that is happening, if you do nothing, you will also be complicit,” he added.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. And I’m not the first this has happened to. We’ve made statements, publicity campaigns, regulations, and nothing has changed.”

The Italian Football Federation is due to decide on Tuesday what punishment to hand out to Udinese — from a fine to a stadium ban.

The club announced yesterday that it would assist the authorities in charge of the investigation “to shed light on what took place and take every measure possible to punish those responsible”.

Yesterday, Udine mayor Alberto Felice De Toni posted a video on Instagram declaring his “solidarity” with Maignan and inviting the player to return to the city to accept honorary citizenship.

“Our city is for everyone,” the mayor said. “Udine is not racist.”

Saturday was not the first time that Maignan has been racially abused by supporters in Italy as he was targeted by a Juventus fan in September 2021.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino called for worldwide stadium bans for fans and “automatic forfeits” for teams whose supporters hurl “abhorrent” abuse following the incidents.

Maignan won widespread support yesterday from fellow players with France captain Kylian Mbappe offering his backing to his international teammate.

“You are very far from being alone Mike Maignan, we are all with you,” wrote the Paris Saint-Germain star.

“Still the same problems and still NO solution. Enough is enough!!!!! NO TO RACISM” he posted on X. — AFP