Messina defender Marc Zoro was brought to tears after being subjected to racial abuse by visiting Internazionale fans during Sunday’s Serie A encounter.
The Cote d’Ivoire international was subjected to a chorus of monkey chants when he went to collect the ball near the away supporters’ section.
Inter’s Brazilian striker Adriano went over to console Zoro before he broke down in tears and threatened to leave the field of play, before his team-mates managed to then persuade him to play on.
Zoro said it was time for the Italian football authorities took a stand against the racists.
“I don’t want to become a celebrity, but I don’t accept it when people come to my home stadium and shout racist insults,” he said.
“I’m used to it when it happens away from home, but not here. These people don’t love the sport and they must understand we are not animals – I want respect.
“They travel many kilometers to come and see their team and then they give me this crap.”
Zoro explained why he decided to stay on the pitch.
“I picked up the ball and went over to the fourth official to try and get him to stop the match, but then I thought I couldn’t end the match this way,” he said.
“It was out of respect for my team and the Inter team that I decided to carry on.”
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