Manuel Pisani, a San Ġwann FC nursery official who racially insulted a young Maltese goalkeeper, has been sacked, his former club has confirmed.
Rashed Al-Tumi is only 19 years old but has already been deemed one of the most promising goalkeepers in Malta. Valletta-born and raised in Malta, he’s already represented the nation as part of the youth football team. Earlier this week, he joined hundreds of people in their condemnation of the murder of George Floyd in the United States.
It was here that Al-Tumi found himself under attack by Pisani, an official who worked with children of various ages at San Ġwann FC’s nursery.
“They’re not people,” Pisani said in broken Maltese. “Wake up you Americans so you take your country back. America of red Indians. The place for black people is in Africa and nowhere else. They’re not people.”
After Al-Tumi confronted Pisani for his hateful comments, the San Ġwann official turned his aim at the young Malta keeper instead.
“So what – you’re not Maltese; you came here when you were young and we taught you something,” Pisani said, carrying on to write his own version of the all-too-familiar “go back to your country”.
In a statement issued earlier today, San Ġwann FC announced that Pisani has now been dismissed, with the club “unreservedly distancing themselves” from him and his comments.
Beyond the dismissal – which was received by the Youth Football Association – it is not being excluded that Pisani may face “ulterior actions” from the Youth FA’s side. Other clubs – including Al-Tumi’s former youth nursery from his hometown Valletta – also joined in the condemnation of the comments.
Earlier today, the Malta Football Association also “strongly condemned” the racist comments directed at Rashed Al-Tumi, saying it expressed solidarity with the Maltese goalkeeper.
“Racism and discrimination have no place in our society,” the MFA finished.
This latest incident follows a slew of racist acts directed at black Maltese people, from the football scene itself to beyond.
On Monday, footballer and rapper Yannick Yankam, along with his friend Jacob Walker, appeared on Lovin Malta’s talkshow to give their personal insights on the current international state of affairs. However, a commenter repeatedly used racist and derogatory language, calling them “jungle monkeys” and “black things”.
Meanwhile, earlier today, Elia Cafe employee Annarita Aquilina (who actually works at her family business) revealed how a client dismissed her due to the colour of her skin and refused to be served by her.