AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi and a leading anti-racism campaigner have responded angrily to Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s claim that players should remain on the pitch when faced with racist abuse.
Rossoneri midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng led his team-mates off the pitch during a friendly match at Pro Patria last week after being subjected to racist chanting from a section of the home fans.
Leading authority figures, campaigners and current professional footballers were quick to lend their support to the former Portsmouth and Tottenham player, who insisted he would walk off again in any competitive match under similar circumstances.
Blatter said there should be “zero tolerance” for racism in the game but did not feel the solution was for players to “run away” from racist abuse.
Berlusconi rejected the Fifa president’s position today, telling radio station RTL: “I am of the opposite view.
“In fact, I thanked and congratulated my players for their decision to leave the field during the friendly in Busto Arsizio.