The Italian Almanac

Marc Zoro and Adriano

Italian News - November 29

Italian league and cup football games in the next week are all to start five minutes late to protest against racism among fans which again provoked ugly incidents at the weekend. "Italian football is against racism and we will press this point home from Tuesday with this initiative which will bring together coaches, officials, players and referees," the country's football federation said in a statement.

Riddled by racist taunts and chants for years, the problem surfaced again during Sunday's league game in Sicily between Messina and Inter Milan. The home side' African defender Marc Zoro was reduced to tears after being subjected to racial abuse by the visiting fans. The Cote d'Ivoire international was targetted when he went to collect the ball near the away supporters' section and after a chorus of monkey chants he decided he would take no more part in the game.

Inter's Brazilian striker Adriano went over to console Zoro before he broke down in tears. Zoro's team-mates managed to then persuade him to play the remainder of the match and his decision was applauded by the Messina crowd.

National team manager Marcello Lippi also denounced the Inter Milan fans saying that they had "insulted human nature." "There is only one race and it is the human race," Lippi said, adding "sport should tear down barriers."