Italian football has supported Kevin-Prince Boateng after he walked off the pitch due to racist chanting in a friendly yesterday.
Boateng interrupted the game with Lega Pro Second Division team Pro Patria by kicking the ball into the stands and walking off, followed by his teammates.
“It was a good signal to send out,” said Italian Players’ Association (AIC) President Damiano Tommasi.
“The ideal is not to suspend games, though, but rather be able to kick out those responsible for these incidents.”
Barbara Berlusconi, who is the daughter of President Silvio Berlusconi and on the Milan Board of Directors, also weighed in.
“We need zero tolerance for these incidents and games ought to be suspended even in Serie A. It is a shocking incident and it was right to leave the field. We can’t always pretend we don’t see or hear these things.”
Federation President Giancarlo Abete also released a statement on the official FIGC website.
“Any sanction or punishment could not cancel out the disgust for a shocking and intolerable incident. The Federation has already begun an investigation to discover who is responsible and collaborate with the Police to punish the racists who ruined a friendly game.
“We show full solidarity to the players who were victims of the racist chants and to Milan who refused to finish the game, a decision that was shared by the referee – who had already suspended play twice – and the authorities in the stadium.
“We must react strongly and without the protection of silence to isolate those delinquents who transformed a friendly match into a disgusting situation that offends all of Italian football.
“Today’s incident confirms once more we must not lower our guard against racial discrimination and racist undertows of society, calling together all the healthy elements of football to fight them.”