The ex-Chievo Verona defender believes persistent racist abuse at games is a dent on the image of Italian football

Former Ghana captain John Mensah has taken a swipe at Italian football following the recent racist abuse suffered by compatriot Sulley Muntari.

Pescara midfielder Muntari earned a double booking – and consequently a one-match ban – for protesting racist chants during a league game at Cagliari last month.

After a massive outcry by football fans, anti-discriminatory and human right institutions around the world, the suspension was eventually overturned.

“Italy is a big nation when it comes to football, they have come a long way in football, so they should have known better,” Mensah told TV3.

“They have been to the World Cup several times and won the World Cup several times.

“For them to be still involved in racist abuse in this era is just not right.

“The supporters could have done better, considering the pedigree of Italy in world football.

“For a football nation like that to still have issues of racist assault is bad.”

Mensah, who spent stints at Italian sides Chievo Verona and Cremonese, is conversant with the racism issue in the country’s football.

The centre-back represented Ghana at the 2006 and 2010 Fifa World Cup tournaments.