rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Walking off during match no solution to racism: FIFA chief

Walking off during match no solution to racism: FIFA chief

January 07, 2013 12:44 IST

Walking off the field in the face of racist abuse, as AC Milan players did last week, is not the solution to the problem according to FIFA head Sepp Blatter.

- Milan walkout re-ignites racism row in Italy

- AC Milan players walk-off pitch after racist chanting

Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Price Boateng led his teammates in a walk-out of a friendly match in Italy on Thursday in a gesture widely praised by players and politicians.

Milan president Silvio Berlusconi later said the team would leave the field of play whenever they suffered racist abuse but Blatter, speaking to Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper on Sunday, indicated that was not the answer.

Sepp Blatter"Walk off? No. I don't think that is the solution," said the Swiss, adding that the Italian federation had yet to provide FIFA with a full report.

"I don't think you can run away, because eventually you can run away if you lose a match," he added.

"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.

"The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions -- and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar."

Blatter, who is on a tour of the Middle East, said Boateng's action was a reminder to spectators that they must behave at matches.

Milan were playing lower division side Pro Patria when Boateng stopped playing in the face of abuse, collected the ball and kicked it towards the stands. He then took his shirt off and walked away, followed by his team mates.

Blatter last November described racism in football as "a devil" after being criticised in 2011 for denying it was a problem in the sport and saying any incidents could be settled with a handshake.

Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.