Blaise Matuidi opted against leaving the pitch in protest when Juventus team-mate Moise Kean allegedly suffered racist abuse at Cagliari because it would have meant those purportedly involved “won”.
Kean was said to be the subject of abuse from a section of fans in the Cagliari crowd when he scored Juve’s second goal in a 2-0 win on April 2.
Matuidi, who previously said he had suffered similarly at the same stadium in 2018, appeared to indicate to coach Massimiliano Allegri that the Bianconeri should leave the pitch. No action was taken against Cagliari by Serie A on either occasion.
The midfielder is glad the team did not head town the tunnel, believing it was the right response to continue playing after Kean’s 85th-minute strike.
“Leaving the field crossed my mind this season in Cagliari,” Matuidi told France Football. “But I did not want to give up on my team-mates, we had a game to play.
“And, in hindsight, I was right, it’s not the best solution. It’s my point of view, we do not all have the same. When I left, I would have proved them right. That would mean they won.
“This fight is for us, the good people, who must win it, not them.”
Matuidi expressed that racism is something that needs tacking on a much larger scale than just within football.
“I have never felt hatred for anyone. It’s mostly anger,” he added. “It has nothing to do with football stadiums and, unfortunately, it happens frequently around the world, in life too.
“At the moment, you feel disgusted. Football is not that. It’s going to a stadium and getting positive emotion, with joys and sorrows because you win or you lose a match.
“But it stops there. For the rest, we are all equal. That’s why we can experience sadness and disgust at times.”