Because less players equal more space to pass and move


Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger says he is awaiting justice from world football regulating body FIFA and the Italian Football Association after he suffered racial abuse last term.

The former AS Roma star moved to England in a £34 million deal but he has not forgotten his experience in Italy.

Lazio fans targeted the black-skinned player when both side met in March in an Italian Cup duel. The fans abused him to the extent that the stadium announcer had to use the public address system to calm the crowd.

The Italian Football Association fined the club but many expected more like suspending or banning the supporters involved or closing the part of the stadium where the jeers came from for a few games. FIFA disbanded their anti-racism workforce last year so the body cannot do much at the moment.

Rudiger asked that FIFA or the Italian FA suspend those involved. He said not all Italians were racist so he wanted just those who racially abused to be punished for their crime.

“I just mean those specific people who do that. And it is not all. But those people need to be banned from the stadium or fined,” the player said.

There have been other incidents of racial abuse in Italian football. Many have urged the FA to do more regarding the situation before it becomes a stereotype. Rudiger says it is not easy for dark skinned player to keep their calm when abused as they are advised.

“In that moment, it is like this: you are alone. You have to be strong. But each human is different. Someone takes it and doesn’t react. Others react. I can understand both,” the 24-year old recent Blues star added.