Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari had been banned for a game after he protested against racist abuse.
Muntari, 32, was booked for dissent after asking the referee to stop Sunday’s Serie A match against Cagliari as he claimed that he was being racially abused.
The former Ghana international then walked off the pitch in protest — for which he received a second yellow card as officials have now confirmed.
They claimed that “not enough fans” took part in the abuse to trigger action.
The Serie A disciplinary committee agreed that their actions on the matter were “deplorable”, but insisted that their guidelines meant that it could not impose sanctions as only “approximately 10” supporters were involved — fewer than 1% of the Cagliari supporters in the ground,
Earlier, FIFPRO had called for Muntari’s punishment to be rescinded — though it was then unaware that the player had been given a second yellow card and sent off.
“Muntari was well within his rights to approach the referee,” FIFPRO voiced in an official statement. “Players should feel comfortable bringing any issue to the attention of the referee, especially one as significant as allegations of racism in the workplace.”
“We urge Italian authorities to hear Muntari’s version of events, investigate why the situation was mismanaged, and take firm action to ensure this never happens again.”
Muntari was playing for AC Milan when then team-mate Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the pitch because of similar racist chants during a friendly with lower-league side Pro Patria in January 2013. Boateng also show his support for Muntari by tweeting that he is “so proud” of his former team-mate.