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AC Milan leave pitch after goalkeeper Mike Maignan reports racist abuse in away match at Udinese

Warning: This piece contains content which some readers may be offended by. Mike Maignan walked off pitch after alleged racist chanting from Udinese fans, and was followed by his AC Milan team-mates; the match was suspended for 10 minutes before restarting

Mike Maignan and his AC Milan team-mates left the pitch during the match at Udinese
Image: Mike Maignan and his AC Milan team-mates left the pitch during the match at Udinese

AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan walked off the pitch after being subjected to alleged racist chants by Udinese fans during a Serie A game on Saturday - prompting the match to be suspended briefly during the first half.

Shortly after Milan had scored to take a 1-0 lead and Milan were about to take a goal kick, Maignan signalled to his team-mates to stop, walked to the referee and then off the pitch.

"They made monkey noises and it's not the first time it's happened to me," the 28-year-old Maignan told DAZN.

Team-mates attempted to console Maignan on the touchline, but then the 28-year-old France international took his gloves off and walked down the tunnel and was followed by his team-mates.

Maignan had told the referee about monkey chants earlier during the match, prompting an announcement in the Stadio Friuli asking fans to stop.

The Serie A game resumed about five minutes after the suspension when Maignan and team-mates came back out. Milan won 3-2.

"I was upset to have to go into the changing room like that but I had everyone's support," Maignan said.

"We talked and then we made the decision to go back out onto the field and make the appropriate response - to win this game. I really didn't want to play anymore. But we're a family and I couldn't leave my team-mates like that."

Udinese will likely be hit with a partial stadium closure for its next home match.

"There is absolutely no place in our game for racism: we are appalled," Milan said on X, formerly Twitter. "We are with you, Mike."

Inter, leaders of Serie A, were quick to reply to the post in support of their city rivals.

The Nerazzurri added on X: "We are brothers of the world, against all forms of discrimination. By your side."

The official account of the league, @SerieA, added: "The league condemns all forms of racism."

Maignan was also subjected to racist chants in a game at Cagliari two seasons ago.

There have been numerous racist incidents in Italian and European soccer for years , with cases in Italy aimed at Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mario Balotelli and Romelu Lukaku among others.

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