Sulley Muntari has claimed he felt “like a criminal” after he was handed a one-game ban for walking off the pitch in response to being racially abused.
The Pescara midfielder was handed two yellow cards for arguing with referee Daniele Minelli, before he stormed off the field of play in the closing stages against Cagliari in Serie A.
However after global protests, the Italian Football Federation overturned the decision, but the 32-year-old’s experience has left him feeling anger in the way he was treated.
In the interview with the BBC, he said: “I went off the field because I felt it wasn’t right for me to be on the field while I have been racially abused.
“In the last week I went through hell, I was treated just like a criminal.
“My message is anyone who is abused should not be scared to talk, you should speak out in order to set yourself free.
“You should not be scared of anybody, because you are strong, you should say whatever you want to say.”
In response to being targeted by fans, Muntari roared: “This is my colour,” and has since beein praised by Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero for how he handled the incident.
The Ghanaian international is not the only African footballer to have been embroiled in a racist scandal in Italy, as Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia was insulted live on air just recently.