Samuel Umtiti leaves pitch in tears after being racially abused by Lazio fans

Last Updated on 05/01/2023 by

Samuel Umtiti, a defender for Lecce, left the field in tears after being exposed to abhorrent racist taunts from Lazio supporters.

Ciro Immobile’s early goal gave the Champions League-chasing team the lead, but goals from Strefezza and Colombo turned the match around, giving Lecce an impressive comeback victory.

Samuel Umtiti
pic @twitter

Umtiti, who joined the Italian club from Barcelona last summer but has had a few difficult years as a footballer after helping France win the World Cup in 2018, was one of the players targeted by a segment of Lazio’s travelling fan base.

Racist chants were directed at Samuel and his teammate Lameck Banda, a forward for Zambia’s national team, during the game by Lazio fans. At the conclusion of the game, Umtiti left the field in tears as Lecce supporters chanted his name.

Racist chants have been overwhelmed by songs of encouragement! All the yellow and red Lecce fans started shouting one name: Umtiti.

Lecce tweeted after the game

The announcer decided to intervene, acknowledging the chants from the opposing fans, and demanded that they stop, which caused the referee to halt the game for a few minutes. The Lecce president Saverio Sticchi Damiani asserted that the defender asked for the match to eventually resume as a result of the home crowd chanting Umtiti’s name.

Sticchi Damiani also applauded his club’s supporters for their support of Umtiti, but he criticised the referees for delaying the end of the game after his teammate Banda was the target of racial slurs from the opposing supporters.

Umtiti, who joined Lecce on loan from Barcelona for the 2022–23 season, made just his 6th Serie A appearance as of Wednesday’s game against Lazio.

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