Napoli fans showed their support for Kalidou Koulibaly during their side’s 1–0 win over Carpi after the defender was racially abused during Wednesday’s match against Lazio in Rome, which prompted the referee to momentarily stop the game.
Fans throughout Napoli’s San Paolo stadium held up photos of Koulibaly to demonstrate their love for the 24-year-old.
A few did veer into regrettable territory by attending the match in blackface as a misguided show of unity, however. (The sign reads “An honor to be like you!”)
The pictures of Koulibaly were distributed by Napoli supporters group Quelli del Sangue Azzurro.
From the Guardian:
“Everyone in Naples is offended by what happened to our young star. Because of this, we want to show our full support to Koulibaly” read a statement from the group, who also displayed banners with further messages of support for the former Genk player, who signed for Napoli in 2014.
The sentiment and intentions are certainly encouraging in the fight against racism in football, but maybe next time everyone can leave out the face paint.