Gianluigi Buffon calls for punishment on racist chants | inside World Soccer

Gianluigi Buffon has called on Italian Football Federation to take tough action against racist chants that have recently blighted Serie A.

Gianluigi Buffon is concerned about the recent spate of 'territorial discriminatory' chants
Gianluigi Buffon is concerned about the recent spate of 'territorial discriminatory' chants

Photo: Getty Images

Several clubs, including Juventus, have been hit with stadium bans in the past 12 months due to chants against southern clubs.

"Racism is an important issue," Buffon told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I believe that human beings strive to find the difference between themselves and another race. Or, if in Italy, themselves and a citizen of another region. I think that the comparison can help us fight it though.

"I don't think the fans are acting out of hatred. Even when they offend the opponent with their shouts, I think the intention is to be heard, to emphasise their dissent.

"I was one of them, I sang backing vocals when I was little. I know the spirit in which the songs are made. And with players of other races within the teams, it wouldn't make sense.

"I think it's fair to severely punish for some forms of intolerance. I do not presume to fully understand the kind of abuse some players get.

"I can't have the same sensitivity to those who are affected by the attacks, but punishment is important for the image of Italian football."

The Italian veteran added: "We know we have the power to influence others. But it is not up to us to educate people, the responsibility is not fair because many of us are young.

"It is clear that, on issues related to fans and racist chanting, sometimes it is appropriate to send a message."

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