The president of the Italian FA has said new measures to counter racist abuse will be in place by the time Kalidou Koulibaly makes his return for Napoli at AC Milan on Saturday.
Koulibaly was banned after receiving a red card in Napoli’s 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan on Boxing Day, although that game was overshadowed by the repeated monkey chanting aimed at the Napoli defender, which saw Inter forced to play two games behind closed doors at the San Siro.
The Sensgal international will be available at the same stadium and Napoli have said they will walk off the field if there is a repeat of the racial abuse.
“The new procedure is very clear,” Gabriele Gravina told Radio CRC following a summit involving the Italian government, clubs and fan groups. “There is a person from the federation or the security officer who will decide if there are any banners, verbal insults or discriminatory chants, whether the referee will bring the teams into the centre circle for the announcement to be made.
“If the situation becomes normal again, the game will restart, but if certain behaviour continues, then the referee will order the teams into the dressing rooms.”
Gravina also said the referee cannot abandon the game without first consulting with the security forces — although a temporary suspension to discuss what course of action to take is permitted.
“It is always the security officer’s final decision,” Gravina said. “If there is a large group, then a more drastic decision could be taken, but if it’s just 50 or 100 or such a small number that can be identified, then the club could ban them from entering their stadium.
“I am convinced that the clubs want to collaborate. We have changed the procedures so that the announcements will be made when the game is stopped so that the referee is not held responsible, and we will ensure this innovation is in place for Milan-Napoli.”