Mancini wants Italy to unite against racism

FLORENCE, ITALY - NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Italy Roberto Mancini looks on during a training session at Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano on November 13, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini has condemned the racist abuse of Moise Kean suggesting his team-mate Leonardo Bonucci have been misunderstood.

Juve’s 2-0 win over Cagliari on Tuesday was marred by racist abuse against the Italian prodigy Kean, the scorer of Juve’s second goal.

The 19-year-old celebrated his late strike in front of Cagliari’s supporters which prompted Bonucci to blame the teenager for the abuse.

But it didn’t go down well in some quarters with Mario Balotelli reacting strongly to his comments, writing on Kean’s Instagram post: “Bravo! And tell Bonucci that he’s lucky I wasn’t there. Instead of defending you he does that? Wow, I am honestly shocked.”

However, the Italy defender later clarified his remarks via social media, saying that he was “too hasty” in expressing his thoughts and “firmly condemned racism”.

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Mancini, on the other hand, thinks Bonucci’s initial response has been misinterpreted and is concerned the fallout from it is overshadowing the alleged behaviour of Cagliari’s supporters.

“The attitude used against Kean was unacceptable,” he told reporters via Goal.com.

“Racist behaviour must be stigmatised so that it can be no more. Positions must be taken. We must also be tough so that these things stop happening.

“Kean’s still a boy. Maybe next time he won’t celebrate like he did, but he probably felt in distress.

UDINE, ITALY – MARCH 23: Moise Kean of Italy celebrates after scoring the second goal during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group J qualifying match between Italy and Finland at Stadio Friuli on March 23, 2019, in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

“I think Bonucci was misunderstood. Now it seems that the important thing was the controversy between Balotelli and Bonucci, instead of what happened on the field.

“We must ensure that these things don’t happen again. As for the national team, we’ll see whether we call all three up.”

Italy’s next fixture is a Euro 2020 qualifier against Greece on June 8, which is followed three days later with another Group J clash against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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