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Verona fans banned for racist chants, appalling banner

MILAN (AP) – Hellas Verona was ordered to play its next home match with part of its stands empty following racist chants and anti-territorial insults during a game against Napoli.

The chants directed at Napoli players Kalidou Koulibaly and Victor Osimhen – who are both Black – came during a 2-1 loss for Verona last Sunday. Osimhen scored twice in the game.

The night before the match, Verona supporters put up a banner near the Bentegodi stadium with Naples’ GPS coordinates and the Russian and Ukrainian flags – an apparent suggestion to bomb the southern city. The banner was signed by the “Curva Sud” – the end of the stadium where Verona’s hard-core “ultra” fans sit – which is now suspended for a game.

Verona fans have been involved in numerous racists incidents and the Serie A judge said on Tuesday that the latest infraction did not warrant leniency due to “the gravity of the facts”.

The partial stadium ban will come into effect for Verona’s game against Genoa on April 3. Verona plays at Empoli this weekend.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen heads the ball during the Serie A match against Verona. PHOTO: AP