AC Milan’s French goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, took a stand against alleged racist chants directed at him by opposing fans during a match at Bluenergy Stadium in Udine, Italy. The incident unfolded in the 33rd minute of the Italian Serie A clash against Udinese.
Maignan, who is Black, led his team off the pitch after hearing “monkey noises” and racist chants from the crowd during his first and second goal kicks. In an interview with Sky Sports after the match, the 28-year-old goalkeeper expressed his dismay, calling the perpetrators “ignorant people” and emphasizing that such behavior has no place in football.
Upon Maignan’s complaint to referee Fabio Maresca, the game was temporarily halted as Maignan and his Milan teammates left the field. The match resumed less than 10 minutes later, with Milan eventually securing a 3-2 victory in the final minutes.
Post-match, AC Milan expressed solidarity with Maignan, stating on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), “There is absolutely no place in our game for racism: we are appalled. We are with you, Mike.” The Lega Serie A, the Italian football league, also condemned racism in a post on X.
This incident follows a recent case where Serie A side Lazio faced punishment, including a one-match stand closure, for racist chants directed at Romelu Lukaku during an Italian Cup match against local rivals Roma. Italian football authorities are expected to announce potential sanctions against Udinese in the coming days following a thorough examination, which includes reviewing the referee’s match report.