Clarence Seedorf critical of Kevin-Prince Boateng's racism walk-off
AC Milan forward was one of a number of players subjected to racially abusive chanting
AC Milan forward Kevin-Prince Boateng has received widespread support after he staged a walk-off during a friendly match yesterday following racist abuse from the stands.
However, former Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf claims Boateng was wrong to do so, believing it sets a dangerous precedent.
Seedorf said: "I don't see it as such a positive thing because [it] empowers more and more of this behaviour."
Boateng was one of a number of Milan players subjected to racially abusive chanting from the home fans of Pro Patria. 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. "Milan play for the right to respect all players."
"Walking off was the right choice when faced with something like this," Allegri said. "We need to stop these uncivil gestures. Italy needs to improve and become better educated and more intelligent. Let's learn from this experience. We are sorry for all the other fans who came here for a beautiful day of sport. We promise to return, and we are sorry for the club and players of Pro Patria, but we could not make any other decision."
The Milan director Umberto Gandini also backed Boateng's actions: "It is so sad but we had to give a strong signal," he said. "Very proud of all Milan players for their decision."
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."
Pro Patria are an Italian fourth-tier side based in Busto Arsizio, 18 miles north of Milan. One of their players, defender Devis Nossa, expressed his shame at the events and said that the racists did not represent his team. "When we tried to reason with them and went under the stands they didn't even consider it," he said. "They certainly weren't our usual fans."
Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City captain, voiced his anger and sympathy on Twitter. "Act of racism against Boateng during Milan's friendly. How about becoming extremely intolerant towards racist idiots? They need to be told," he wrote. "I can only salute Milan's decision to leave the pitch. Also noted that the majority of the fans were completely supportive of the players."
Piara Power, the executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe asked for strong action from the Italian FA. "We salute Kevin-Prince Boateng for his actions and his team-mates for their support," Powar said. "This is the not the first time a player has walked off in Italy – if the situation continues it may not be the last."
Latest in Sport
Newcastle 0 Manchester United 1: Louis van Gaal describes performance as 'maybe our best match of the season'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Six things we learnt: Louis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United; Henderson becoming the genuine heir to Gerrard
Terminally-ill Club Brugge fan Lorenzo Schoonbaert delays euthanasia appointment to see his beloved football club 'win one last time'
Arsenal's Gabriel suffers 36th-minute hamstring injury and is subbed off...Twitter reacts
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Adam Levine's biggest fan had a panic attack upon meeting him, so the singer laid down on the floor to get a photo with him
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin