Carlo Ancelotti said the referee repeatedly ignored Napoli’s request to stop the game after Kalidou Koulibaly was reportedly subjected to monkey chants throughout their 1-0 defeat to Internazionale on Boxing Day.
Substitute Lautaro Martínez scored in stoppage time to give Inter a 1-0 win after Napoli had two players sent off. Koulibaly was booked for a foul on Matteo Politano – who waved a pretend yellow card in the air – and then immediately given a second yellow for sarcastically applauding the referee.
But Ancelotti later claimed that the Senegal defender had lost his temper after repeated requests made to the crowd over the stadium’s loudspeaker in an attempt stop the racist chanting were ignored.
“There was a strange atmosphere, as we asked three times for play to be suspended, they had announcements with the speaker three times,” said the Napoli manager.
“Koulibaly was certainly irritable. Usually, he is very calm and professional, but he was subjected to monkey noises throughout the game. We asked three times for some action to be taken, but the match continued. We keep being told play can be halted, but when? After four or five announcements? Maybe we have to take matters into our own hands next time and stop play ourselves. They’ll probably make us lose the game if we walk off, but we are prepared to do it. It’s not good for Italian football, seeing this.”
As tempers boiled over during the closing moments, Lorenzo Insigne was also shown a red card after tussling with Balde Keita in an off-the-ball incident.
“I’m disappointed by the defeat, but above all at leaving my brothers,” Koulibaly later wrote on Twitter. “But I am proud of the colour of my skin. Proud to be French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man.”
Juventus were ordered to close part of their ground and fined €10,000 in October for racial insults aimed at the Napoli defender.