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Discriminatory chants prompt suspension of Roma-Napoli game

Italy Soccer Serie A

Roma’s Edin Dzeko talks to fans as the match was briefly suspended because fans were making racist chants against Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, during an Italian Serie A soccer match between Roma and Napoli, at the Olympic stadium in Rome, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


ROME -- Discriminatory chants prompted a Serie A soccer game between Roma and Napoli to be briefly suspended Saturday.

Referee Gianluca Rocchi made the decision in the second half after Roma fans aimed anti-territorial chants - which are treated in the same manner as racist chants - at Napoli. The game resumed after a few minutes.

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Rocchi had already ordered an announcement to be made over the Stadio Olimpico’s public address system asking fans to stop the chants.

During the suspension, Rocchi gathered teams in the center circle, then Roma forward Edin Dzeko encouraged fans to applaud rather than jeer the opposition.

Roma led 2-0 at the time of the suspension before going on to win 2-1.

Italy’s top tier has been marred by several incidents of fan racism this season.