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“We have all lost”: Acerbi reacts to acquittal after racism accusation

The acquittal following the accusation of racism was a relief, but Francesco Acerbi does not see himself as a winner. On the contrary

The draw between Inter Milan and SSC Napoli (1:1) in mid-March sparked a discussion about racism in soccer in Italy. Inter defender Francesco Acerbi is alleged to have racially insulted Napoli’s Juan Jesus during the match, but the 36-year-old was acquitted by the Serie A sports tribunal earlier this week due to a lack of evidence. However, the case continues to reverberate.

After Juan Jesus reacted with dismay to the acquittal in a statement, Acerbi has now also spoken out and told the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera: “It’s a matter in which we’ve all lost. “

The Italian, who was excluded from the national team’s last international training course due to the allegations, had always denied the accusations and spoken of a misunderstanding. “Those were very difficult days,” said Acerbi, looking back.

Acerbi once again defends himself against accusations of racism

He rejected the accusations once again: “But, without having anything against Juan Jesus, quite the opposite, because I also feel very sorry for him,” said Acerbi, “you can’t call someone a racist because of a misunderstood word in the excitement of the game.”

However, he fears that he will never get rid of this stigma: “For many, I am still a racist even after the acquittal. Smear campaigns in the media don’t help to solve the problem of racism, which certainly exists and which I don’t want to play down.” Racism is a serious matter, said the Inter professional. Juan Jesus, on the other hand, felt “in no way” protected by the decision of the sports tribunal. According to the Brazilian, there is a threat of a “serious precedent”.

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