Berlusconi responds to Blatter

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has responded angrily to FIFA president Sepp Blatter's claim that players should remain on the pitch when faced with racist abuse.

Last Updated: 07/01/13 at 13:20 Post Comment   

Silvio Berlusconi: Proud of AC Milan's players for making a protest

Silvio Berlusconi: Proud of AC Milan's players for making a protest

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 on Monday, 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.

"This is an uncivilised problem that needs to be stopped, people should not allow these things to happen.

"Teams out on the pitch should set an example of civility and the educational role of football should not be underestimated.

"It's not only about the behaviour of players in the game, but of the public, and everyone needs to avoid giving Italy a negative image."

Speaking at a conference in the Middle East, Blatter had told United Arab Emirates newspaper The National, he said: "Walk off? No. I don't think that is the solution.

"But the Italian federation has yet to provide FIFA with the report detailing what exactly has happened.

"I don't think you can run away, because eventually you can run away if you lose a match. This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium; we have to go against that. The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions - and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar."

Piara Powar, the executive director of anti-racist campaign group Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), told The Guardian on Monday: "We disagree entirely with the idea that Kevin-Prince Boateng ran away from the Milan match in which he was subjected to racial abuse. 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?

"The point is that the hard-won processes put in place to deal with issues of discriminatory abuse, that apply from referees all the way up to international disciplinary commissions, are not being implemented.

"There seem to be so many statements being made off the cuff by football administrators on important issues of policy that are ill-thought out. The message going out is one of indifference by governing bodies at all levels."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Premier League: Roberto Martinez hails Everton players after win over Manchester United

Roberto Martinez saluted the focus and adaptability of his Everton squad after a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Transfer news: Atletico Mineiro to take Nicolas Anelka to FIFA

Atletico Mineiro president Alexandre Kalil has said that he is considering taking Nicolas Anelka to FIFA.

Premier League: David Moyes admits defensive errors cost Manchester United at Everton

David Moyes feels Man Utd conceded 'terrible goals' on his return to Everton and says missing out on the top four hurts.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property