The dark side of beautiful game

Milan: Roma issued an apology for their supporters racially abusing Sampdoria's English midfielder Ronaldo Vieira during their goalless Serie A draw.

"As Roma would like to apologise to Ronaldo Vieira for the racist boos he was subjected to," Roma said on Twitter on Sunday.

"Roma does not tolerate racism of any kind and the club will support the authorities in identifying and subsequently banning any individuals found guilty of racially abusing the midfielder."

Monkey chants were directed at 21-year-old Vieira towards the end of the first half of Sunday's match with an announcement made over the stadium loudspeaker, but the match was not interrupted.

The English U21 international, who was born in Guinea Bissau and raised in Portugal and England, joined Sampdoria in 2018 from Leeds United.

"This happens too often, it shouldn't be this way," Vieira told Italian television Rai Sport.

The English footballer later wrote on Instagram: "Football has a responsibility to punish and educate the idiots in the stadium today. Nonetheless, it was a good point for the team."

Sampdoria later thanked Roma via social media for their message: "Thank you. Always together for a better football #stopracism" The problem of racism is a recurring one in Italian football.

This season Inter Milan's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and AC Milan's Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie have been targeted by monkey chants without any sanctions being applied.

Atalanta were fined 10,000 Euros ($11,000) earlier this month for racist abuse by their fans aimed at Fiorentina's Brazilian defender Dalbert.

Blaise Matuidi, Kalidou Koulibaly and Moise Kean were also victims of racist abuse last season.

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