Milan shocked at stadium ban

Milan have been fined €50,000 and ordered to play their next Serie A home game, against Udinese, behind closed doors, due to some of their fans chanting “We are not Neapolitans”, at their game against Juventus in Turin on Sunday.

Naples daily Il Mattino said the chant reflected long-standing contempt for the south by northern clubs, but the decision was greeted with disbelief by Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani who promised to appeal.

“To say I’m furious would be putting it mildly. I understand that racism is a big problem, a problem everywhere in the world but territorial discrimination is another thing entirely. I could do it myself: living in one zone of Milan and agreeing with a few friends to chant against another zone of the city.

“If 50 people agree something like that, they could kill a club by making racist or territorially discriminatory chants. Next time, they may as well say we have lost without playing, and then take points off us too.”

Maurizio Beretta, president of the Lega Serie A agreed with Galliani saying: “The mechanism for defining offences and their punishments the way it is now risks placing the destiny of clubs and the league in the hands of a few irresponsible people.”

A spokesman from the football federation (FIGC) said the rules were being applied in line with UEFA guidelines. “It’s not as though the rules are imposed on any club. It’s down to a judge to decide on the punishment, and they can make their case against any decision,” the spokesman said.

The offending chants were heard by employees of federal prosecutors stationed in the stands of the Juventus Stadium, before the game and during the second half.

As this is the second time this season Milan have been punished for the discriminatory behaviour of their fans, the entire stadium will be shut for the visit of Udinese on October 19.