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Napoli match against Lazio suspended after racist chants against Kalidou Koulibaly

The game was stopped after several minutes while efforts were made to gain control of the fans.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Action was brought to a halt in the 67th minute of Napoli's match against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, and not for a good reason. Kalidou Koulibaly had been subject to racist chanting and monkey noises every time he was on the ball all match long, and with the hatred being spewed at him getting worse as the game went on, the referee and officials in Rome decided to stop the match while efforts were made to re-gain control of the game.

It's sad and horrifying that we still have to deal with nonsense like this in the modern era. It's disgusting behavior, and has no place in soccer or the world at large.

Lazio will certainly be punished for this, which in a way is unfair. As soon as play was stopped, players and staff approached the section driving the chants and tried to get them to stop, albeit unsuccessfully. Instead of the fans who did this being punished, the team will probably be fined heavily and may even see a stadium ban, which would also punish the fans who did nothing, who surely out-numbered the troublemakers.

I do want to note one other thing and give kudos to the travelling Napoli fans. As the chanting was growing worse and especially when play was stopped because of it, the Napoli fans in the Olimpico started singing Neapolitan songs louder and louder to try to drown them out. It didn't completely work, but it was lovely to see them trying to help Koulibaly out like that.

Play resumed in the 70th minute, though the chanting and booing and whistling at Koulibaly only got louder afterwards. To his credit, Kalidou looked as though he didn't let it phase him for the most part, excepting to their reaction to his late booking.