An Italian football anti-racism initiative featuring paintings of monkeys which will be displayed at Serie A headquarters has received widespread criticism after its release on Monday.
Football in Italy has been ruined by racist abuse for the past few seasons, and the artwork commissioned by Serie A was designed to stop fans directing monkey chants at players, specifically players of African descent.
An Italian Artist Simone Fugazzotto came up with the idea of an official anti-racism initiative that was officially unveiled on Monday and said his triptych of monkeys was intended to show that there’s no difference between humans and apes.
But the use of Monkeys has received widespread criticism in the football fraternity. Italian Giants AC Milan said they strongly disagree with and were not consulted about the use of monkeys in artwork.
AS Roma also expressed their surprise, adding that they understand the league wants to tackle racism, but they don’t believe this is the right way to do it.
The artworks are the latest questionable response in Italy to repeated calls to clamp down on racial abuse. Two weeks ago the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport was criticised for using the headline Black Friday on its front page, alongside images of Romelu Lukaku of Inter Milan and Roma’s Chris Smalling.
Roma and Milan banned reporters from the publication until the end of the year, which led the newspaper to describe its treatment as a lynching.
By Ofhani Munyai