Blatter: Players facing racism shouldn't walk off

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AC Milan Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, right, is flanked by his teammate Mathieu Flamini as he gestures towards the crowd in Busto Arsizio, near Milan, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012. A friendly match between AC Milan and lower division club Pro Patria was abandoned Thursday after racist chants directed at Milan\'s black players, the latest incident of racial abuse that continues to blight the sport. After repeated chants directed his way, Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng picked up the ball and kicked it at a section of the crowd in the 26th minute of the first half. Boateng then took off his shirt and walked off the pitch with his Milan teammates. Urby Emanuelson, Sulley Muntari and M\'Baye Niang were also targeted by the chants. (AP Photo/Emilio Andreoli)

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LONDON (AP) — FIFA President Sepp Blatter says players facing racial abuse during games shouldn't walk off the field as AC Milan did last week.

Kevin-Prince Boateng led the Milan players off Thursday during an exhibition against lower division club Pro Patria that was abandoned because of racist chanting by fans.

Blatter was quoted in Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper Sunday as saying: "Walk off? No. I don't think that is the solution. ... I don't think you can run away, because eventually you can run away if you lose a match."

Emphasizing that there should be "zero tolerance of racism in the stadium," Blatter urged local soccer authorities to impose "harsh" sanctions, such as point deductions.

Blatter says the Italian federation has yet to provide FIFA with a report on Thursday's incident.

 
 
 

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