It was a delight to win at the Via del Mare as newly-promoted Lecce gave Lazio Roma a chance in fifth place (2-1) in Serie A on Wednesday afternoon. But the game was also full of racist calls against Zambian Lecce striker Lamark Banda and his French team-mate, 2018 world champion Samuel Umtiti, who is a supporter of Lazio Roma.
French Lecce defender Samuel Umtiti was confronted with racist chants from Lazio Roma supporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Lecce fans support their players
In this regard, the unbearable happened repeatedly in Italy. The defender, on loan from Barcelona, the author of the entire game, was in tears at the end of the game, while Lecce supporters chanted his name. Its president, Saverio Sticchi Damiani, came to hug him. In Gazetta dello sport he puts it this way: “When the referee stopped the game and waited for the announcer to call for an end to the racist song, Umtiti asked him to continue playing because he wanted to respond to the insults he received on the pitch. His reaction was like A true champion. »
Lecce scans SAMUEL UMTITI’s name: “Racist songs are encouraged to drown”
tears. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, that’s how Samuel Umtiti left the pitch on Wednesday after Lecce’s stunning success against Lazio (2-1) on his turf. Italian newspapers reported that a racist chants directed at the France international led to the referee stopping the game in the 67th minute, while Umtiti’s team-mate Lamarque Banda was also a victim in the first period.
Moments before the break, “Umtiti, Umtiti, Umtiti” could be heard from the stands. “Racist songs were drowned out by encouragement. People in yellow and red (the colors of the club’s jersey, editor’s note) started shouting only one name: Samuel Umtiti,” American Lecce tweeted. “It was fantastic to see our fans chanting Umtiti’s name and drowning out the horrific screams. It was a civilized and sensible response,” said Saverio Sticchi Damiani.
“You can feel his weight in the dressing room and on the pitch”
The club president also praised the 2018 world champion’s behavior: “When the referee stopped the game and waited for the announcer to stop the racist chants, Umtiti asked to resume the game because he wanted to respond. For the insults received on the pitch . He reacted like a true champion.”
“It’s time for this to end (…) These are disgraceful acts. We are proud of (Lameck) Banda, (Samuel) Umtiti and (Assan) Ceesay (another black player on the team, editor’s note)” , responded Lecce coach Marco Baroni. Lorenzo Colombo also spoke on the subject via Sky Sports: “We didn’t hear the cries but if our supporters want to make this gesture of solidarity I can say we are all behind him.”
The winner’s author also praised his team-mate: “His weight is felt in the dressing room and on the pitch, as you can see.” The 29-year-old central defender is on loan from Barcelona and has made six appearances this season. With a record of 3 wins and 1 draw in the last four rounds, Lecce (No. 12) made a good start in the relegation match.