Morocco’s Mehdi Benatia Racially Abused in a Live TV Interview
Just a week after Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch in protest following racial abuse chants during Pescara’s 1-0 loss to Cagliari, Italian football has been hit by another racial storm.
Juventus defender Medhi Benatia was forced to cut short a live TV interview after hearing a racist insult in his ear piece.
The 30-year-old France-born player was speaking to Italian broadcaster RAI presenters after the Turin derby 1-1 draw with Torino when he heard a voice over his radio ear piece say,
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“What are you saying, S****y Moroccan?”[/perfectpullquote]
Benatia clearly unamused, stopped mid-sentence replying, “Who said that? What Stupid Person is speaking? They called me a S****y little Moroccan”
The presenters despite hearing the remark tried to brush it off claiming there seemed to be some technical issues but the on-loan Bayern defender was forced to end the interview abruptly.
Italian broadcaster RAI was quick to comment on the issue calling the comments “unacceptable” and insisting it was not uttered by one of their employees. The broadcaster released a statement reading,
“RAI is genuinely sorry for the regrettable episode of racism that involved Juventus player Benatia during the Calicio Champagne broadcast, which fortunately was not audible to viewers.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“RAI has put in place all the necessary checks to identify the person responsible for the incident and at the moment we can say that the unacceptable phrase was not uttered by an employee of our company.[/perfectpullquote]
“The investigation continues but considering the gravity of the situation, RAI stands in full solidarity with the footballer and the club he represents.”
Juventus also strongly expressed its concern over the situation demanding an explanation over what happened. Benatia is yet to comment on the issue but he’s still set to be part of the team that hosts Monaco in the champions league Semi-final showdown this week.
Featured photo: Getty Images