Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has again refuted claims that he condoned the racist abuse suffered by teammate Moise Kean.

By 90Min
April 08, 2019

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has again refuted claims that he condoned the racist abuse suffered by teammate Moise Kean.

The teenage striking sensation was the victim of abhorrent chanting from Cagliari supporters after scoring the second goal in Juventus' 2-0 win last week.

After the game, Bonucci appeared to intimate that Kean was partly responsible for the abuse he received, as he opted to celebrate his goal in front of the home supporters. He has now claimed for the second time that he was "misunderstood", subsequently confirming that he is against any form of racist abuse.

“Everyone was right to get annoyed,” Bonucci told Le Iene, in quoted relayed by Football Italia.

“I apologize to those who have misunderstood me because my response wasn’t exhaustive enough. Having said that, I’m against racism 100 percent. I heard the boos and the tools are there to go and get the guilty parties and punish them fully.”

Bonucci was criticized by a number of players for his comments, with Kevin-Prince Boateng, Lilian Thuram and international teammate Mario Balotelli among those who hit back at Bonucci's apparent ignorance.

Balotelli stated that his fellow countryman was 'lucky I wasn't there', but Bonucci claims he was misinterpreted and that he only wishes that Kean had celebrated in a different manner.

“I’ve always loved Mario and I always will,” he added. “At that precise moment Boateng was right. I explained to him my desire that I was misinterpreted.

“I didn’t justify racism, only that I would’ve preferred Moise to have celebrated with us. I repeat: they’re all right. I love everyone, the same goes for Thuram. I also talked to him by phone.

“We talked to each other and I explained that I’d been misunderstood, but I’m 100% against racism. It should never be tolerated, on any occasion.”

Elsewhere, fellow Juventus star Blaise Matuidi has insisted that more must be done to tackle the problem of racism in football, before praising the referee's decision to temporarily stop the game.

“For me, these are stupid people and they do not belong in football stadiums," Matuidi said. "They simply have to be punished and never allowed into a stadium again. This is not the world I want my children to see.

“We cannot just ignore this, we have to fight. I can no longer stand there and listen to that. We must not be afraid to stand up and fight.

“I felt the referee did not make the right decision, which would’ve been to stop the game. I had a discussion with him on the pitch, it was important and he did listen, so that was good.”

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