Dacourt: ‘Players snubbed Serie A for racism’

Olivier Dacourt made a documentary on racism in football and claims “two top French players rejected moves to Italy because of this problem.”

The former Roma midfielder is now working behind the camera and recently released documentary titled ‘Je ne suis pas un singe’ – I am not a monkey.

“Kalidou Koulibaly is an extraordinary guy and I wanted to lift his mood with a message, but there was no need. He has already beaten the racists with his heart of steel,” Dacourt told Il Mattino newspaper.

So many have tried to minimise the issue of racist abuse in Italian stadiums, calling it ‘banter’ to put the opposition off, but Dacourt warns it is a very real issue and a growing reputation.

“I won’t name names, but two French top level players rejected transfers to Juventus and another Italian club, at different times, because they know there is this problem of racism and it’s difficult to get under control.

“Italy ought to be grateful to (Napoli Coach Carlo) Ancelotti, because he is right now rehabilitating the image of Italy in the eyes of Europe. That is very important.

“Cristiano Ronaldo’s message was also important, because it’s easy for another black player to show solidarity, but much less for someone who is not black and whose name is Cristiano Ronaldo.

“The statements from Carlo and CR7 are the kind that will ensure black players no longer say no to Italy.”

Some have suggested Koulibaly should be given the Napoli captain’s armband against Milan tonight on his return from the two-match ban.

“It wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference,” assured Dacourt. “The only think to do is take concrete steps, the same that Ancelotti is talking about. If the racist chants come down from the stands, the two teams have to stop and walk off into the locker room. All 22 of them.

“Can you understand what kind of a media impact that would have? It’d go viral all around the world in a matter of moments.”

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