On Sunday, October 17, 2010, history was made in the Italian serie A: a match was stopped due to fans’ racist chants. It happened at the Sant’Elia stadium in Cagliari (on the island of Sardinia). Just two minutes in, referee Paolo Tagliavento had enough of the monkey chants from the Cagliari ultras directed at Inter striker Samuel Eto’o.

Tagliavento blew his whistle, explained his decision to the two captains, then ordered the fourth official to have this announcement made over the stadium’s public address system: ‘If racist chants persist, the match will be suspended.’ It was repeated twice.

After the announcement no monkey chants poisoned the atmosphere. In a delicious twist to this sad affair, Eto’o went on to score the only goal of the match and celebrated by ‘monkeying’ around.


* Alegi is professor of history at Michigan State University. Reblogged from Football is Coming Home.

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