By Muambo Edward
Football Writer, Cameroon
Napoli and Senegalese international defender Kalidou Koulibaly has expressed his disgust for all forms of racism and promised never to quit Italy because of racism, but rather the racists will leave.
The 28-year-old French born Senegalese defender unveiled another form of racism which was not targeting black people but rather between the Italians themselves.
“But there isn’t only racism against the colour of the skin, there is also racism against cities,” Koulibaly told L’Equipe.
“When they abuse my captain Lorenzo Insigne because he is a Napolitan, it makes me just as angry as when a black man is racially abused, it hurts me right to the bottom of my heart.
“Naples does not merit this, they are exceptional people, a city that lives on love. It is also the host city of a very important Italian club, a club that represents Italy internationally, people must respect that.
“In France it is very different, but in Italy you will find discriminations between the north and the south, whereas if they were united, it would have been wonderful, just like we see with their national team.”
The 28 year joint Napoli in 2014 from Genk and has been subjected to racist chants from many Italian supporters across the country.
While many have advocated for African players to quit the Italian Serie A, as a way to protest against racism, the former Metz defender has vowed to stay and will rather see the racists leave.
“Leaving Italian football will rather make them feel like winners. For me I want to make them see how wrong they are,” he told France Football.
“I will like to show them that if anyone has to leave, it should be them and not us. We have to stay here and show them that we are a strong community, which has to fight against this racism.”
Koulibaly was born in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges in France to Senegalese parents but after representing the French at the U-20 level opted to switch his allegiance to Senegal and has gone on to represent the Teranga Lions on 30 occasions, including starring in their run to the final of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
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