Garth Crooks calls for "every self-respecting" black player in Italy to strike

Former Tottenham midfielder was issuing a response to a situation involving Sulley Muntari

BY Raf Diallo 14:32 Wednesday 3 May 2017, 14:32 3 May 2017

Football television presenter Garth Crooks talks during a reception in support of Kick Racism Out of Football held at the Great Eastern Hotel in central London. He was joined by other big names in football to show their support for the campaign which is widely cited as being the catalyst for positive change in the game. Johnny Green/PA Archive/PA Images

Former footballer and anti-racism campaigner Garth Crooks says "every self-respecting black player" in Italy should go on strike this weekend unless league authorities withdraw a ban imposed on Sulley Muntari.

His words come after Pescara and former Portsmouth midfielder Muntari was given a one-match ban for walking off the pitch in protest at racist abuse he was getting from some Cagliari fans.

League bosses admitted the supporters' behaviour was "deplorable" but not enough of them were involved to punish the club.

They have been called "gutless" by charity Kick It Out.

Crooks, who played for Tottenham, Stoke City, Charlton Athletic and West Brom during his playing career before moving into the media with the BBC, has called for strong action from players in Italy in response to the Muntari situation.

Via a statement on Kick Out's Website, his view was made clear: "Kick It Out has made representation to FIFPro, the World Players’ Union, to share its frustrations about the treatment of Sulley Muntari by the FIGC (the Italian Football Federation).

"The gutless failure to not take action by the Italian authorities should not be allowed to pass.

"It’s unbelievable that Cagliari escaped punishment as ‘only 10’ fans were involved. This situation should never be allowed to happen again.

"Garth Crooks, an independent Kick It Out Trustee, is calling for every self-respecting black player in the Italian League to not play this weekend unless the Italian authorities withdraw the ban on Sulley Muntari."

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