Trieste half-marathon excludes African runners, accused of racism

Trieste half marathon race organiser Fabio Carini.
Trieste half marathon race organiser Fabio Carini.
Image: Fabio Carini/ Facebook

Trieste half marathon organisers are facing accusations of racism over their controversial decision to close the May 5 race to African athletes.

Race manager Fabio Carini told Saturday's edition of La Repubblica the move only to allow European entries was to make a stand against the exploitation of African runners.

"This year we have decided only to take European athletes to make the point that measures must be taken to regulate what is currently a trade in high-value African athletes, who are purely and simply exploited, which is something we can no longer accept."

Interviewed on Rai Television Carini evoked athletes who were "under-paid and treated indecently in relation to their sporting value".

Carini came under fire from an Italian member of the European Parliament, Isabella de Monte, who called the decision "serious and unworthy".

"We are preventing professionals taking part in a race because they come from Africa....The situation is in the process of slipping away from us and we are returning to the dark days," the MEP for the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats said.

She added: "The only way to react to this type of decision is outrage.

"Sport is about sharing, unifying, equality, loyalty and respect, that's what we teach our children.

"But what example are we giving them with this type of decision?"

The Trieste half-marathon controversy comes days after Lazio fans racially abused two AC Milan players in the Italian Cup semi-final.

This was the latest in a series of racist incidents in Serie A this season.

Earlier this month, Juventus youngster Moise Kean was racially abused in a game at Cagliari.

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