In his time with Barcelona, Samuel Eto'o was forced to endure racism from the stands that nearly drove him off the pitch. Now with Inter, Eto'o had to face it yet again on Sunday as a group of Cagliari ultras forced the referee to take the unprecedented step of threatening to abandon a Serie A match if their racist chants didn't stop.
The AP explains:
The Serie A match was stopped in the third minute after some fans insulted Eto’o every time he kicked the ball. The officiating police inspector, Giuseppe Gargiulo, immediately ordered referee Paolo Tagliavento to suspend the match.
The game resumed after three minutes and supporters were warned that it would be abandoned if there was any more chanting.
The chants were targeted at Eto’o and came from the northern end of Cagliari’s Sant’Elia stadium, where Cagliari supporters known as “ultras” gather for matches.
During the three-minute suspension, fans in the rest of the stadium made their anger at the northern end clear and applauded loudly when the game resumed to drown out any more chants.
Cagliari President Massimo Cellino claims he didn't hear any racist chants, of course, but Eto'o and former teammate Mario Balotelli (among others) have over the years. This will hopefully be the kind of action that starts to silence those racist sections.
Even if it doesn't, Eto'o is doing a good job of silencing them himself. He went on to score the only goal of the match on Sunday in the 39th minute, exacting his own form of revenge.
Video of his goal right this way...