Italian soccer stars banned for blasphemy
Two Italian soccer players have been given one-match bans for blasphemy after being filmed taking God’s name in vain while out on the field of play.
CNN revealed the Italian soccer players as Sassuolo’s Francesco Magnanelli and Parma’s Matteo Scozzarella.
They were handed their punishment on Tuesday after the league officials examined television pictures from the incidents.
Magnanelli had played during team’s 1-0 win over Verona while Scozzarella appeared in Parma’s 2-2 draw with Inter Milan.
Blasphemy is hugely frowned upon in Italy and the country’s soccer authority have sought to crack it down for the past decade.
In August 2018, Ronald Mandragora was banned for one match after blasphemous statements while he played for the Udinese against Sampdoria.
And last season, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was suspended after making blasphemous remarks.
Italy’s soccer authorities have come in for criticism for their disciplinary judgments this season, particularly on racism.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has urged the FIGC to take a stronger stance against racism.
“Racism is combated with education, condemnation and discussion,” Infantino said on a program aired by Italian state broadcaster RAI, adding: “you can’t have racism in society or in football in Italy the situation hasn’t improved and this is serious.”
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