Napoli match briefly halted because of discriminatory chants

GENOA, Italy (AP) Napoli’s match at Sampdoria was briefly halted after home supporters made discriminatory chants against Naples and its citizens.

Referee Claudio Gavillucci stopped play for about three minutes in the second half, shortly after Napoli’s opening goal.

Such chanting has led to clubs being fined for `territorial discrimination’ but it is the first time a match has been temporarily suspended because of it.

”I tried to stop the chanting and explain the risks to the fans,” Sampdoria captain Vasco Regini said. ”These chants shouldn’t be heard any more.”

Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero tried to urge the fans to stop but was also insulted by the ultras.

”I’m disappointed by what happened. But our fans are among the most correct in Italy, so much so that we have received less fines than anyone,” Sampdoria’s technical director Daniele Prade said.

Napoli scored again shortly after the resumption of play and went on to win 2-0. But it mattered little as Juventus drew 0-0 at Roma to get the point it needed to mathematically secure its seventh successive league title.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri had complained to a match official about the chanting in the first half, and warnings about the chanting were announced over the stadium speakers.

”These chants stem from ignorance,” Sarri said. ”The Sampdoria fans are among the most civil ones. I don’t know if it is teasing or racism but I’m more or less used to this sort of thing.”