Rabat - Moroccan football player Medhi Benatia has been victim of racism during a live interview with Italian TV channel Rai on Saturday.
Rabat – Moroccan football player Medhi Benatia has been victim of racism during a live interview with Italian TV channel Rai on Saturday.
The Juventus defender was being interviewed following his team’s draw against Torino, when he abruptly ended the conversation.
“What stupid person is speaking?”, said Benatia after hearing a racist insult in his earpiece.
The incident comes a week after Ghanaian player of Piscara, Sylley Muntari, left the pitch claiming he was victim of racial abuse.
Juventus released a statement, expressing its concern over the incident. “everyone – and the player first and foremost – deserves an explanation about what occurred”, said the Italian club.
On Sunday the Italian TV channel apologized later on, saying it is sincerely saddened by the deplorable episode of racism involving the Juventus player”, adding that the insult had not been heard by the viewers.
A video posted online shows Benatia being called a “Moroccan sh*t” on his headphones in the middle of the interview In shock, he asks who made the comment. The TV presenter ends the interview, blaming the insult on technical problems and saying that nobody in the studio made the insulting comment.Later on, the former Moroccan national football team captain posted a statement on Instagram saying an investigation into in incident is under way.
“I would like to thank my club, Juventus, for doing what is necessary to protect me. I also would like to thank my fans for the enormous support they have shown me”, Benatia said.
Benatia went on to say, “Italy is a country that I have been carrying in my heart for years now. But unfortunately, as you can see, there exists an intolerant minority”.
The former Moroccan captain ended his statement with a message to both Moroccans and Italians. “I am Moroccan and I am extremely proud of it”.
Benatia, 30, has spent most of his career in Italy, where played for Udinese, AC Roma and Juventus. He joined the latter last summer on loan from German football giant Bayern Munich.