Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari has had his one-match suspension for walking off the pitch against Cagliari upheld by the Serie A.
The former Ghana international was subjected to racist chants throughout the match and felt compelled to air his grievances with referee Daniele Minelli. When the 32-year old approached the Italian, he was booked for dissent. He then stormed off the pitch in disgust, which earned him a second yellow card.
FIFPro – the worldwide organization that represents professional footballers – has demanded that the suspension be rescinded.
In a written statement released by FIFPro, they stated: "We urge the Italian authorities to hear Muntari's version of events, investigate why the situation was mismanaged and take firm action to ensure this never happens again.
"FIFPro believes Muntari's yellow card should be rescinded. Muntari was well within his rights to approach referee Daniele Minelli, as the first point of reference, to make his grievances known and seek a solution.
"Players should feel comfortable bringing any issue to the attention of the referee, especially one as significant as allegations of racism in the workplace.
"No player should ever feel the need to take matters into his own hands, as Muntari clearly felt obliged to do, by abandoning the match or taking spectators to task for inappropriate behaviour.
"Professional footballers should expect to be adequately protected by the relevant authorities in a place of work that does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."