Blaise Matuidi receives flood of support after alleged racist abuse

    Blaise Matuidi talks with Italian referee Gianpaolo Calvarese after he suffered racist abuse during the Serie A game against Cagliari.

    Story highlights

    • Blaise Matuidi claims he was racially abused by Cagliari fans Saturday
    • It was the second time in a week the Frenchman had been subjected to abuse

    (CNN)Soccer player Blaise Matuidi has received support from across the world after claims he was racially abused during Juventus' match against Cagliari in Italy's top division on Saturday.

    It was the second successive Serie A match in which Matuidi, who has played over 60 times for the French national team, had been subjected to abuse.
      Verona were handed a suspended partial stadium ban and hit with a ($24,000) €20,000 fine for racist chanting directed at Matuidi during their league match against Juventus on December 30.
      "Today I experienced racism during the match. Weak people try to intimidate with hate," Matuidi, who moved to Juventus from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, wrote on his Facebook page, referring to the latest incident.
      "I am not a hater and can only be sorry for those who set bad examples. Football is a way to spread equality, passion and inspiration and this is what I am here for. Peace."
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      Cagliari was quick to show its support for Matuidi, issuing its own response to the 30-year-old's Twitter post.
      "You're a great player, an example to young players," said the club. "We want to apologize to you if you were insulted at the Sardegna Arena because of the color of your skin.
      "Racism has nothing to do with the Sardinian people. Only ignorance can explain certain behavior. Respect."
      The incident, which took place just before half-time, left Matuidi visibly upset as he appeared to look towards the stands.

      Past incidents

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      Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, who in 2013 caused a friendly match between his then team AC Milan and Pro Patria to be suspended after he walked off following racial abuse, took time to show his support for Matuidi.
      "Enough is enough!!! I am with you Blaise Matuidi," he wrote. "We need to stand strong and fight racism NOW!!! #weareallthesame."
      Last year, Nice striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused by Bastia fans during his team's Ligue 1 match.
      Bastia was handed a three-match stadium ban and a suspended one-point deduction, while the club also banned one fan for making monkey chants.
      "Blaise I've been through this, don't let the ignorance of a few affect you," Balotelli wrote. "Not all Italians are like that. Keep doing great bro!"
      Talking to CNN in 2017, then Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari explained how he experienced racism "every game" follow abuse he received -- again in a match against Cagliari.