Pioli condemns racist abuse hurled at Napoli

Paris, Feb 4 (IANS) Lazio coach Stefano Pioli has condemned racist chants from his supporters which were aimed at Napoli during a Serie A encounter.

Play was halted for a few minutes in the second half on Wednesday night due to persistent racist chants aimed at defender Kalidou Koulibaly, but eventually it were league leaders Napoli who won the game 2-0.

“Discriminatory chants should not exist. People need to have values like respect and education, never forgetting them,” Pioli was quoted as saying by football-italia.net on Wednesday.

“Mind you, I am not sure I would’ve stopped play, as I don’t think it helps. The chants are unjustifiable, but doing this we give a sense of importance to a tiny minority of troublemakers. It certainly wasn’t the entire stadium.”

“I find it so hard to understand racist chants when we have black players in our squad,” he added.

With the loss Lazio slipped to the ninth spot in the points table and Pioli said it’s time they improved their performances.

“It’s complicated to talk about European qualification looking at our current position in the table. Clearly we have to improve, without forgetting we are still in the Europa League itself,” he said.

“We are dropping a lot of points at home this season. Against Napoli we played well for 20 minutes, but after their goal we misread so many situations.”

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