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Blatter Criticizes Milan's Response to Racism
ESPN Soccernet, January 8th, 2013 1:02PM

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TAGS:  fifa, italy

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In a recent interview, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that walking off the field in protest of racist abuse is not the right thing to do. On Thursday, AC Milan players, led by Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, abandoned a friendly against Italian fourth division club Pro Patria after several of its players were subjected to racial abuse. Blatter questioned their actions in an interview with National, a United Arab Emirates newspaper.

"Walk off? No. I don't think that is the solution," he said. "I don't think you can run away, because then the team should have to forfeit the match. This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium, we have to go against that."

Milan responded with the following statement: "AC Milan reaffirm its dissent towards all forms of racism, however they are manifested. We invite the national and international sporting authorities to adopt and apply every rule against racism."

Following Blatter’s remarks, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri defended his players further. "We wanted to give a signal," he said. "Players can't suspend a match but others can. There need to be rules put in place. We made a signal for the future. There needs to be more civility in Italian stadiums."

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