Tuesday January 8 2013
FIGC: 'Suspend games for racism'

FIGC President Giancarlo Abete has broken away from UEFA and FIFA by insisting “we are prepared to suspend games” due to racist abuse.

Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during a friendly between Milan and Pro Patria last week, prompting praise from most quarters, but FIFA President Sepp Blatter insisted it was “wrong to run away” from the insults.

The Italian Federation has declared its intention to stand by Boateng and any other players who find themselves in the same situation.

“We must not worry about fixture lists or difficulty in organising a re-match. That is not the problem,” said FIGC President Abete after a meeting with the Chief of Police.

“The problem is taking away from the stadiums those people who don’t belong there, because they pollute the civilised coming together for a sporting event.

“If necessary, we are prepared to suspend games on a temporary or permanent basis to fight racist abuse.

“The sporting world strongly supports sending these people away from the stadiums with stronger bans and more capability to expel from the arenas those who do not have the right to stay in a sporting venue.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that one of the Pro Patria fans charged with hurling racist insults at Boateng is a councillor in nearby Corbetta.

Riccardo Grittini is a 21-year-old who is responsible for Sport and Youth Politics. He has now been banned from attending any sporting event for five years and resigned from his post.

He was voted in as part of the Lega Nord, the anti-immigration party that has declared its intention to separate the richer northern territories from the poorer south of Italy.

Pro Patria, the club whose friendly was abandoned when Boateng and Milan walked off, have been ordered to play a game behind closed doors.

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