Allegri: ‘Education can stop racism’

Juventus Coach Massimiliano Allegri declares “we must not chatter, but do” if Italy is to combat the problem of racism in stadiums.

The issue has been leading the news agenda since Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly was racially abused by a section of Inter fans, and the Bianconeri boss was asked for his toughts.

“I think there are preventative measures to be taken for everything, and for the umpteenth time we have the chance to steer things,” Allegri said in his Press conference ahead of the Sampdoria match.

“To do so, however, we must not chatter, but do. That’s the only way, but I’m a Coach, there are bodies which must decide and we hope this will be the right time to take preventative measures.

“Quite simply we must not stop. It’s not down to us, or even the referee, to stop the game, but the public order bodies.

“That said, I absolutely will not tolerate racism or any insult against the dead or tragedies that have happened.

“Unfortunately something is lacking in Italy, we’ve lost a bit of education and respect. It’s not just football, to really have a new start we need to impress these things upon people when they’re young children.

“We need to go into schools, sport is educational and we’d do well to get involved in schools because out of 100 people 70 or 80 will be on the right path, but this is something all of us need to do together.

“It’s easy to talk now, say things, only for everyone to forget about it the day after tomorrow.

“There are bodies responsible, then we as Presidents, Coaches and players must know that our words carry weight and can influence adults and people who are less adult.

“We must be more responsible and have a shred of intelligence not to feed what’s already there, because in Italy we no longer accept defeats or victories. So we need to do that, otherwise it’s useless.

“I’m sorry, because on the 26th the stadiums had so many people: families, children, the future of Italy.

“Those of a certain age have chosen how to live their lives, but the children are the future and if we don’t educate them nothing will change.

“Stopping matches only has a temporary impact, we need to be preventative. Inside the stadiums there are cameras who can catch these people.

“It’s simple: you see them, you catch them, and they’re not allowed in the stadium anymore. We can’t solve this problem though, it’s down to the relevant bodies.

“If they want to solve these things they can do it, if not then it’s nothing but hypocrisy and I’ll shut up.”

Allegri was then asked whether he agrees with stadiums being closed for these actions, with Inter given a two game ban.

“These aren’t my decisions, if they’ve made this decision it’ll be the right one. It solves the problem momentarily, but we need to stop this problem further upstream.

“The issue isn’t solved by closing the stadium for two months – after two months, what then? Preventative measures must be taken.

“There are people of value who can do it, so surely they will do it and then we’ll all be happy.

“I like Italian football, it’s beautiful and it’s difficult. I think we certainly have to do something, but not something extraordinary, something simple.

“It has to involve the children, so let’s go and talk to them. We need to spend some of our time with the children in the schools, to do a programme of education, respect and life. There has to be education.

“Then don’t complain when we arrive in the bus and there are parents hurling insults at everyone with their children alongside them. Then what do you think the child will do?

“I want to make myself available to pass on a little education to my seven-year-old son, but also others.

“Then I go to the stadium, I see a beautiful game like in Bergamo where there was a wonderful crowd, or at San Siro where there were 65,000 fans, but it’s not nice when there are these unpleasant situations.

“It takes patience though, everything won’t be resolved in a day. We need to start somewhere though, because if not there will be another incident in two months.”

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