Kevin-Prince Boateng made a widely applauded stand against racism yesterday, walking off the pitch when racially abused while playing in a friendly for Milan against Pro Patria in Italy.
The Ghanaian midfielder born in Germany was one of a number of Milan players subjected to racially abusive chanting from the home fans yesterday. Urby Emanuelson, Sulley Muntari and M'Baye Niang were also victims of abuse.
After 26 minutes of the friendly, Boateng picked up the ball, kicked it into the crowd, removed his shirt and walked off the pitch. He was applauded by the rest of the ground and players from both sides walked off with him. Boateng wrote on Twitter afterwards: "Shame that these things still happen. Stop racism for ever." He has been widely supported for his actions.
The Milan coach, Massimiliano Allegri,said that Boateng had been right to make a stand. "We are disappointed and saddened by what has happened," he said. "Walking off was the right choice when faced with something like this. We need to stop these uncivil gestures. Italy needs to improve and become better educated and more intelligent. "
There will be an immediate inquiry into the incident by the Italian Football Federation. A statement said that "no sanction or penalty can erase the disdain for an unjustifiable and intolerable episode. We need to react with strength and without silence to isolate the few delinquents that transformed a friendly match into a mess that offends all of Italian football."