With regard to what happened during the recent match between Inter and Napoli, and the subsequent decision taken by the sports judge, Juan Jesus and his legal representatives have issued the following statement:

"I have read several times and with great disappointment the decision of the sports judge, who felt there was no evidence that I was the victim of a racist insult during the match between Inter and Napoli on 17 March. While respecting the decision, it is one I find difficult to comprehend and it leaves me feeling very bitter.

Quite honestly I am crestfallen by such a serious incident in which my only mistake was that I dealt with it 'as a gentleman', deciding not to interrupt an important game, with all the inconvenience that would have caused the spectators watching the match. I did so believing that such an attitude would have been respected, and perhaps taken as an example.

Following this decision, I imagine that anyone else finding themselves in a similar situation to mine will act in a very different manner, in order to protect themselves and to curb the disgrace of racism, which, sadly, we are struggling to rid ourselves of.

I do not feel in any way protected by a decision which both admits that “there was certainly evidence of the insult” and maintains there is no certainty that it was of a discriminatory nature, which only I perceived “in good faith”.

I really do not understand how “go away negro, you're just a negro” can be considered to be certainly offensive but not discriminatory.

I do not understand all the commotion that evening if it really was “just an insult”, for which Acerbi himself felt the need to apologise, the referee decided to notify VAR, the match was suspended for over a minute and his team-mates hurried to speak to me.

I cannot fathom why Acerbi only started to change his version of the events the following day while with the national team, instead of denying it immediately after the match, when it actually happened.

I didn't expect it to end like this. I fear – and I hope I am wrong – that this could set a serious precedent for justifying certain behaviour after the event.

I sincerely hope that this (for me) sad matter can help the world of football to reflect on an issue that is both serious and urgent."

Juan Jesus

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