Italia forward Paulo Dybala will miss this week’s World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and UAE after being charged with “inciting racial hatred”.
The 24-year-old striker, who has scored nine goals in 25 appearances for the Turin giants this season, was charged after allegedly saying “I’m sorry, the Arabs” during a football match against an Arab player at the Al-Walaa Stadium in Abu Dhabi last week.
“The incident was an act of racism,” a spokesperson for the national prosecutor said.
“It is unacceptable for any player to make racist remarks, including by means of racial hatred, during a match.”
We hope that the player who has been charged will show a good and positive attitude and avoid any further actions.
“Dybala was later fined £20,000 by the UAE Football Association, the spokesperson added.
The charges were made against Dybali after a video of the incident went viral on social media and was shared by several Italian football clubs, including Juventus, in the UAE.
In a statement, Juventus said: “We have spoken to the player and he has accepted the decision.
We are committed to fighting racism, as we have done throughout the whole campaign.
“Dyrbala has been linked with several clubs across Europe, including Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan, while Inter Milan defender Sergio Busquets is also said to be a target.