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Soccer: Moroccan team leaves Italian league over racism

Alleging racist insults, African immigrants squad pulls out

13 March, 13:49
Soccer: Moroccan team leaves Italian league over racism

(ANSA) - Forli, March 13 - A soccer team of Moroccan immigrants pulled out of the minor Uisp league in the eastern city of Forli after enduring a steady stream of racist insults, local newspaper Resto del Carlino reported on Thursday.

The latest episode that triggered the Casablanca team's decision came last Saturday when rival fans shouted: "Go back home Moroccans.." adding other insults during a match against Club Juventinità di Forlimpopoli which was won 3-0 by Casablanca.

The last straw came when Moroccan players reportedly complained to the referee but no measures were taken, said Rachid Hansal, the 41-year-old captain, a former professional player in Morocco's top league.

The episode, he said, was "the latest of a long series of racial insults. Unfortunately, such a thing happened every Saturday. "We can't stand it any longer. And now we are not playing anymore," he said, adding the team has sent a petition to the league naming one offender.

"What is certain is that we will not stand similar offences anymore. The time had come to do something, to take a strong decision. And we did it".