Berlusconi disputes Blatter's 'run away' claim in abuse row
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.
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 responded: “I am of the opposite view. In fact, I . . . congratulated my players for their decision to leave the field during the friendly . . . This is an uncivilised problem . . . people should not allow these things to happen.”
Piara Powar, executive director of anti-racist campaign group Football Against Racism in Europe, said: “We disagree entirely with the idea that Kevin-Prince Boateng ran away from the Milan match . . . It’s a nonsensical suggestion.
“What does Sepp Blatter know about what it is to be abused or excluded because you are an ethnic minority, and what might be the right or wrong way to respond?”