In the wake of a fresh racist incident in Italian football involving Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly, former Ivory Coast player Zoro Marc, who was also a victim while playing in Serie A, sees no end to the awful trend in the country.
Chants were allegedly directed at the Napoli defender according to his coach Carlo Ancelotti during Inter’s 1-0 win at San Siro on Boxing Day.
The incident has drawn worldwide condemnation, with the Italian FA handing Inter a two-match stadium ban.
Koulibaly has received support from several high-profile players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Neymar.
However, Zoro claims racism runs deep in the Italian football community and that little could be done to eradicate it.
“It’s hard to explain but if you’ve been into it you’d understand better. It is in their veins and even those who don’t talk have it but they pretend not to,” Zoro told ACLsports.
“It is very unfortunate that after all these years and the huge progress football has made some people still think the sport ought to be played only by a ‘special race’ and not people with another skin colour. I feel for Koulibaly but he has to deal with it. He knows he is in Italy.
On November 27, 2005, while on the books of Messina, Zoro attempted to stop a match between his side and Inter Milan by leaving the field with the ball, after being tormented by racist taunts from the Nerazzurri supporters.
The incident was brought to the attention of UEFA and the European Union.
“Unfortunately, it appears little or no lessons were learnt from that. I think Italians need more education about cultural integration. I don’t think sanctions would be enough to curb racism in football.
“Wherever it exists people should be enlightened. Club administrators are not doing enough. The campaign has to start from within the clubs, at every section, from commercial to the supporters departments.
“But as things stand, Koulibaly won’t be the last victim,” he said.