Franck Kessie and AC Milan teammate Tiemoue Bakayoko will not be punished by the Serie A's disciplinary tribunal after they paraded Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi's jersey ‘like a scalp’ after a league game.
After Kessie's goal lead Milan to a 1-0 victory over Lazio - crucial in their bid to secure Champions League football next season - Bakayoko exchanged jerseys with Acerbi. The Chelsea loanee and Kessie waved the defender's jersey in front of Milan fans in the Curva Sud.
And due to the manner in which they went about it, what started as a lighthearted Twitter banter between the France and Italy internationals generated criticism, with Gabriele Gravina, head of the Italian soccer federation (FIGC), among those who called for disciplinary action.
“When Acerbi handed over his to the Milan players and shook their hands, he proved he wanted to close any controversy. Exhibiting the same shirt almost like a scalp in front of the crowd was an ugly reaction that we ought to prevent happening again,” Gravina said on Monday.
However, on Tuesday, the tribunal in a statement ruled that “nothing was reported by the match delegate” and said that it was not a case where evidence from television images could be used. “Therefore, the tribunal is not competent to decide on what happened.”
Both players have since settled the issue, with Bakayoko placing a call through to Acerbi to apologise for his action, while the Italian defender tweeted: “Enough controversy, we'll see each other on the pitch.”
However, for the trouble that broke out after the match, Kessie was among six players fined €10,000 (£8,650) for their part.
Milan duo Andrea Bertolacci and Mateo Musacchio, and Lazio's Lucas Leiva, Luiz Felipe and Patricio Gabarron were the remaining offenders.