Inter Milan player Francesco Acerbi leaves Italy squad after allegations he used racist language

Inter Milan player Francesco Acerbi leaves Italy squad after allegations he used racist language - Crime and Courts - News

Italian Defender Francesco Acerbi Leaves National Squad Amid Allegations of Racially Charged Language

Italian defender Francesco Acerbi has departed from the Italian national squad ahead of its upcoming friendly matches against Venezuela and Ecuador following allegations that he used racially derogatory language towards Napoli player Juan Jesus during a Serie A game on Sunday, October 3.

The disputed incident took place during the second half of Inter Milan’s 1-1 draw with Napoli. Video evidence demonstrates Juan Jesus voicing his concerns to the referee and indicating towards someone. The official then summoned Acerbi.

Juan Jesus’s Allegations and Acerbi’s Response

Brazilian defender Juan Jesus accused his counterpart, Francesco Acerbi, of employing a derogatory term for Black people during their confrontation. However, Acerbi has vehemently denied utilizing any racist language and was not penalized during the game.

Acerbi, who boasts 34 caps for Italy, originally arrived at the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) training camp in Rome on Monday but left before the team’s departure to the United States on Tuesday. A statement from the FIGC acknowledged that Acerbi discussed his side of the story with national team manager Luciano Spalletti and his teammates, emphasizing that there was “no defamatory, denigrating or racist intent on his part.” Nevertheless, the defender was omitted from the squad to maintain harmony for both the team and himself.

Acerbi’s Denial and Juan Jesus’s Account

In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday, Acerbi reiterated his stance that he did not utter any racist remark. He also expressed regret for leaving the national team.

“I have never said any racist phrase. I am very calm. I have been a professional for twenty years, and I know what I’m saying. Not a single word of that came out of my mouth. He misunderstood,” Acerbi asserted.

Despite Acerbi’s denial, Juan Jesus recounted that Acerbi addressed him as “Black” in a derogatory manner on the pitch. Juan Jesus initially shared his account of the incident on Instagram, stating that Acerbi had apologized and acknowledged his error but now appeared to be denying it. “Acerbi told me ‘go away Black, you’re just a Black’. Following my protest to the referee he admitted he had made a mistake and apologized to me, then also adding: ‘for me, Black man, it’s an insult like any other,’” Juan Jesus wrote.

Further Investigation and Club Statement

News Finder reached out to Acerbi’s representative for comment but did not receive an immediate response. Inter Milan acknowledged Italy’s decision to dismiss Acerbi from the squad and expressed their intention to meet with him as soon as possible to clarify the situation.

“Inter Milan is aware of the Italian Football Federation’s decision regarding Francesco Acerbi. We will meet with the player as soon as possible to shed light on the exact details of what happened,” Inter Milan stated.

Serie A, Italy’s top-tier domestic league, revealed that the case would be referred to the Italian Federal Prosecutor for an extensive investigation.