Kevin-Prince Boateng: I would walk again over racist abuse
Milan player urges others to follow his lead as Uefa refuse to take action over fans
Kevin-Prince Boateng, the Milan player who was widely commended for walking off the field in reaction to racist abuse, has told Uefa he would do it again, no matter how high-profile the match happens to be.
Europe's governing body have yet again been accused of failing to take racism seriously after it emerged it will take no action against the second division Italian club Pro Patria after racist abuse from some in the crowd led to Boateng and his Milan team-mates leaving the field of play during a friendly at the small club's ground.
The player himself said he is "sad and angry" he was forced to take action. Milan have stood by the actions of their players following the chants that were aimed at Boateng, Urby Emanuelson, Sulley Muntari and M'Baye Niang, saying that "racism infests our stadiums".
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri had also backed the decision to leave the field in the 26th minute, calling it the right choice.
And now Boateng has said: "I don't care what game it is – a friendly, Serie A or Champions League match – I would walk off again. I'm sad and angry that I'm the one that has to take action. If it happens again I'm not going to play any more. The referee said: 'Don't worry' but I said I do worry, it's not very nice. I was angry and I was sad, but it all came together and I said I don't want to play any more. There were so many negative emotions that came up with me.
"I'm surprised we're still hearing these things in 2013. It's not the first time in my life that I've heard these things, but I'm 25 now and I've had enough of this."
However, there will be no action from Uefa, who have been repeatedly accused of not taking racism seriously enough. The governing body indicated yesterday that they will not become involved because the game was not played in one of their own competitions.
Boateng added he was heartened by the backing he had received from former opponents in the Premier League, where he played for Tottenham and Portsmouth. "I saw massive support from England and massive players like Rio Ferdinand and Patrick Vieira, and I want to say 'thank you'."
Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, suggested the issue was best left to referees. "Racist abuse should be reported to the match officials and then the crowd warned. If the abuse continues the officials should abandon the game."
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