The match between Udinese and AC Milan was briefly suspended because AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan walked off the pitch for being called a monkey
Mike Maignan walked off the pitch in the game between AC Milan and Udinese where he, like other black players, fell victim to a wave of racist chants and jeering. It is reported that Udinese fans called him a ‘monkey.’
The Frenchman decided to take a stand for himself and beckoned his team’s players to hurry away from the field. Mike Maignan had alerted the referee before heading for the tunnel where he was followed by his teammates.
The game was suspended for a brief period of time before the play was resumed and Milan snatched the win from 17th-placed Udinese courtesy of two brilliant late goals from Luka Jovic and Noah Okafor.
Match Summary: Udinese 2-3 AC Milan
Milan had dominated much of the play, keeping the ball to themselves with 70% possession, and tallying a passing accuracy of 86% throughout the game as opposed to Udinese’s 67%.
The Rossaneri also looked threatening in front of goal, having racked up an xG of 2.72 in contrast to Udinese’s 0.55 ratio of expected goals. Milan had registered 15 shots with 7 on target but Udinese weren’t too far off with 11 shots and 6 on target.
It took the visitors about half an hour to grab the lead thanks to a goal from Ruben Loftus Cheek, assisted by Theo Hernandez. However, the hosts Udinese were quick to respond and made it level just 10 minutes later with a goal from Lazar Samardzic.
Around the 60th minute mark, Florian Thauvin gave Udinese the lead by making it 2-1, and for 5-10 minutes after that, the hosts looked a lot more dangerous going forward.
AC Milan decided to bring on some fresh legs and it did end up paying dividends. Luka Jovic came off the bench to make it level again at 2-2 before Noah Okafor safely slotted home the third to give Milan the victory.
100th Serie A win for Stefano Pioli
“In the first half hour, we played well, we could have scored a few more goals,” coach Stefano Pioli told a press conference.
“The [Maignan] episode then destabilized us a bit, but we recovered by returning to play our game and we managed to find the victory with great determination.”
No Room for Racism!
Many players, teams, and football institutions took to social media in order to console the French shot-stopper and stand in solidarity with him including fellow teammates such as Noah Okafor and French compatriot Kylian Mbappe.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino suggested that teams should forfeit games if their fans hurl racist abuse in any form. He had the following to say about the situation:
“As well as the three-step process (match stopped, match re-stopped, match abandoned), we have to implement an automatic forfeit for the team whose fans have committed racism and caused the match to be abandoned, as well as worldwide stadium bans and criminal charges for racists,”
“Fifa and football show full solidarity to victims of racism and any form of discrimination. Once and for all: No to racism! No to any form of discrimination!
“The events that took place in Udine and Sheffield on Saturday are totally abhorrent and completely unacceptable. The players affected by Saturday’s events have my undivided support.”