“The abuses are not acceptable at all, and this must not be misunderstood,” says Leonardo Bonucci (second from right), seen here alongside Moise Kean. Photo: Fabio Murru/ANSA via AP

MILAN – Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci says his comments about teammate Moise Kean being partly to blame for racist abuse he suffered after scoring at Cagliari on Tuesday were misunderstood.

Bonucci was criticised by a number of players for saying that the blame for the incident was split “50-50” between the 19-year-old player and the Cagliari fans.

“I was interviewed right at the end of the game, and my words have been clearly misunderstood, probably because I was too hasty in the way I expressed my thoughts,” he said on Instagram.

“Hours and years wouldn’t be enough to talk about this topic. I firmly condemn all forms of racism and discrimination. The abuses are not acceptable at all, and this must not be misunderstood.”

Kean, who had been jeered throughout the game, stood in front of the Cagliari fans behind the goal and opened his arms after scoring Juve’s second goal in a 2-0 win.

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Dopo 24 ore desidero chiarire il mio pensiero. Ieri sera ho parlato alla fine della partita e mi sono espresso in modo evidentemente troppo sbrigativo, che è stato male interpretato su un argomento per il quale non basterebbero ore e per il quale si lotta da anni. Condanno ogni forma di razzismo e discriminazione. Certi atteggiamenti sono sempre ingiustificabili e su questo non ci possono essere fraintendimenti. // After 24 hours I want to clarify my feelings. Yesterday I was interviewed right at the end of the game, and my words have been clearly misunderstood, probably because I was too hasty in the way I expressed my thoughts. Hours and years wouldn't be enough to talk about this topic. I firmly condemn all forms of racism and discrimination. The abuses are not acceptable at all and this must not be misunderstood.

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In response, Cagliari’s supporters made the noise which is described in Italy as “buu”, and is regarded as a racist insult, although some fans argue it is simply to annoy opposing players regardless of race.

Bonucci said at the time Kean should have celebrated with his teammates – a remark which prompted England forward Raheem Sterling to comment: “All you can do now is laugh.”

Reuters