Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis has had his say on the current debate in Italy over racist abuse, arguing that football authorities should also punish those who sing derogatory songs about his club's supporters.
The issue of racism raised its ugly head again last weekend when AC Milan's Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng was targeted by Juventus fans ahead of the two sides' meeting in Turin.
The Bianconeri were subsequently fined over the behavior of their supporters, but De Sanctis wants similar sanctions against those who racially abuse Napoli fans, and indeed other people from the south of Italy.
"There are so many types of discrimination," he told reporters at a pre-game press conference on Thursday. "The Neapolitans are the subject of a territorial discrimination that is not considered as racial discrimination, but it is just as bad.
"Vulgar songs about our fans should also be punished."
Turning his attention back to action on the pitch, De Sanctis believes that the Partenopei deserve to hold on to second place in Serie A and the automatic Champions League berth that comes with it. Even so, he has called on Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis and his colleagues to strengthen Walter Mazzarri's squad this summer so that it can challenge for Europe's premiere club cup next season.
"We deserve to be in the Champions League, but it requires a competitive team [to stay in it]," the former Bianconeri shot-stopper pointed out. "It will be the responsibility of the directors to put together a squad that can do well in a tournament that is the most important stage in world football."
Napoli, which plays Pescara this weekend, is currently seven points ahead of third-placed AC Milan, and eight clear of Fiorentina, in the battle for Champions League football.
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- AC Milan
- racial discrimination