Napoli’s Juan Jesus rages at Francesco Acerbi decision: “I do not feel protected in any way”

Napoli defender Juan Jesus has expressed his immense dissatisfaction with the ruling that has saved Inter defender Francesco Acerbi in the racism case.

 Acerbi was not sanctioned by the Serie A yesterday as it was revealed that there was no evidence to prove that he had racially abused Jesus two weekends ago in the league clash involving the two sides. Napoli are reported to be unhappy about the situation and banners have been unfurled across the city.

Jesus has now responded to the result, stating that he is left with a bitter taste in his mouth and he has questioned as to what Acerbi apologised about during the game if he didn’t racially abuse the Napoli man. Jesus said that in a statement by Napoli.

He said (via TMW): “I have read several times, with great regret, the decision with which the Sports Judge considered that there is no proof that I was the victim of racist insults during the Inter-Napoli match last March 17. It is an assessment which, although respecting it, I struggle to understand and it leaves me with great bitterness.

“I am sincerely disheartened by the outcome of a serious matter which I was only guilty of having handled “as a gentleman”, avoiding interrupting an important match with all the inconvenience it would have caused for the spectators who were watching the match, and trusting that my attitude would have been respected and taken, perhaps, as an example.

“Probably, after this decision, those who find themselves in my situation will act in a very different way to protect themselves and try to put a stop to the shame of racism which, unfortunately, is struggling to disappear.”

Jesus further stated: “I do not feel protected in any way by this decision which struggles between having to admit that “proof of the offense has certainly been achieved” and maintaining that there is no certainty of its discriminatory nature which, again according to the decision, only I and “in good faith” would have perceived.

“I really don’t understand how the phrase “‘go away black, you’re just a n-” can certainly be offensive, but not discriminatory.

“In fact, I don’t understand why there was so much fuss that evening if it really had been a “simple offense” for which Acerbi himself felt obliged to apologise, the referee felt he had to inform VAR, the match was interrupted for over 1 minute and his teammates were struggling to talk to me.

“I can’t explain why, only the next day and in retreat with the national team, Acerbi began a U-turn on the version of events and instead did not immediately deny, as soon as the match was over, what had actually happened.

“I didn’t expect an ending of this kind which I fear – but I hope I’m wrong – could set a serious precedent to subsequently justify certain behaviors.

“I sincerely hope that this, for me, sad story can help the entire world of football to reflect on such a serious and urgent issue.”

The words are very strong from Jesus and it has already been reported that he could now seek a solution in the case from a different body, as he and the club are unhappy with the decision put forward by the Serie A and the judges. 






Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN


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