AC Milan’s French goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, took the unprecedented step of leading his team off the pitch during a Serie A match against Udinese at Bluenergy Stadium in Udine, Italy. The action was prompted by alleged racist chants directed at Maignan by opposing fans in the 33rd minute of the game.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, the 28-year-old Maignan, who is Black, reported hearing “monkey noises” and derogatory chants from the crowd during his goal kic
ks. He expressed his dismay, stating, “They’re ignorant people… You can be booed or whistled when you’re away from home, that’s normal, but what happened today has no place in football.”
Maignan promptly informed referee Fabio Maresca, leading to a temporary halt in the game as he, along with his Milan teammates, walked off the pitch and down the players’ tunnel.
Following a brief interruption, the match resumed less than 10 minutes later, ultimately concluding in a dramatic 3-2 victory for AC Milan. Post-match, AC Milan expressed solidarity with Maignan through a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, condemning racism and affirming support for their player.
The Lega Serie A, the governing body for Serie A, also denounced any form of racism through a post on X. Italian football authorities are expected to investigate the incident, considering the referee’s match report, with a potential announcement of punitive measures against Udinese in the coming days. This incident follows last week’s punishment of Serie A side Lazio, which faced a one-match stand closure due to racist chants directed at Romelu Lukaku during an Italian Cup match against local rivals Roma.