Samuel Umtiti Leaves Pitch in Tears As Lazio Fans Racially Abuse Him

Samuel Umtiti Leaves Pitch in Tears As Lazio Fans Racially Abuse Him (News Central TV)

After being subjected to horrible racial insults from Lazio fans, Lecce defender Samuel Umtiti left the field in tears. Lecce came from behind to defeat Champions League-chasing Lazio, who took the lead through Ciro Immobile’s early opener before goals from Gabriel Strefezza and Lorenzo Colombo turned the game around.

Samuel Umtiti Leaves Pitch in Tears As Lazio Fans Racially Abuse Him (News Central TV)

The match, however, was marred by a part of Lazio’s traveling crowd racially insulting Lecce players, notably Samuel Umtiti – who joined the Italian club from Barcelona last summer but has had a difficult year as a footballer. During the game, Lazio fans sang racist chants against Umtiti and his teammate Lameck Banda, a Zambian international forward. Umtiti departed the field in tears at the end of the game, while Lecce fans chanted his name.

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Following the game, his club tweeted, “Racist chants have been overwhelmed by songs of encouragement! All the yellow and red Lecce fans started shouting one name: Umtiti.”

The referee paused the game for many minutes as the stadium announcer spoke, acknowledging and demanding that the yelling from the away fans stop. The home crowd began screaming Umtiti’s name, and Lecce president Saverio Sticchi Damiani stated that the defender requested that the game be resumed.

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“I hugged Samuel, as I do with all his teammates. After each match, regardless of the result, I want to greet the boys and the staff.” Sticchi Damiani said after the game.

He continued, “When the referee stopped the game, waiting for the announcer to call for an end to the racist chants, Umtiti asked for the game to resume because he wanted to respond to the insults he received on the pitch. He reacted like a true champion.”

Sticchi Damiani also applauded his club’s fans for their support of Samuel Umtiti, but he chastised the authorities for not suspending the game sooner after his teammate Banda was subjected to racial chants from the visiting fans.

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Samuel Umtiti joined Lecce on loan from Barcelona for the 2022-23 season, and his appearance against Lazio on Wednesday was only his sixth in Serie A this season.

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