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Koulibaly suspended one match, Sampdoria fined for racist fan chants

Kalidou Koulibaly will miss out on Napoli's next match against Empoli, while Sampdoria were slapped with a large fine over the less-than-stellar behavior of their fans.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Napoli will be without their best defender next weekend, as Kalidou Koulibaly has been handed a one-match suspension for being sent off after earning two yellow cards against Sampdoria.

Koulibaly earned his first yellow late in the first half for a desperate foul after Miguel Britos had gotten burned for about the fourth time in as many minutes, then picked up the second in the 84th minute when he tripped Eder on a breakaway to save a certain goal when Napoli were already down 1-0 and chasing an equalizer. For that, he'll miss out on the match against Empoli at the San Paolo. Fortunately for Napoli, that's a match he might have been rested for anyways as Empoli have scored just 14 goals in 13 matches.

Napoli actually got off a little lucky; Koulibaly's first yellow card was his fourth of the season in Serie A, which also normally would have earned him a one-match suspension. Italy's sports court superseded that with his red card suspension, but there have been cases in the past when a player who earns a suspension with one yellow card and then gets sent off with another is held out for two matches to account for both suspensions. If the court had done that here, Koulibaly also would have missed out on Napoli's match against AC Milan at the San Siro on the 14th.

Henrique Buss is the most likely candidate to start against Empoli in his place. The Brazilian has started just twice in the league this season (though he has three Europa League starts), and has been in rough form for most of this season. A strong showing against Empoli, though, could earn Henrique more faith with Rafa and see him rotate in to the lineup more frequently, which could help prevent fatigue slowing down Koulibaly and Raul Albiol as we've seen at times this season.

Also of note from yesterday's match, Sampdoria has been slapped with a €15,000 fine for racist chanting from their fans during the match. Racist chants were noted in the 21st and 68th minutes of the match, and were likely aimed at Koulibaly on both occasions, though Duvan Zapata was also warming up during the second instance of that chanting. Sampdoria wasn't forced to close their stadium for any matches, though further occurrences of such chanting will likely have that result.