Saturday July 27 2013
AIC: 'Constant racism walk-off was wrong'

Players’ Association President Damiano Tommasi reminded Kevin Constant of the “code of behaviour” after he stormed off due to racist abuse.

The Milan full-back kicked the ball into the stands and walked off the field during a Trofeo TIM summer friendly against Sassuolo when he heard a racist insult from a fan.

As the referee, officials and teammates did not hear it, they were not in a position to halt the game. Being a friendly, the referee decided to allow Milan’s substitution rather than penalise Constant.

“I spoke to Constant and manifested my solidarity, but I also reminded him there is a code of behaviour that has to be respected,” explained AIC President Tommasi.

The incident was similar to the one that saw Kevin-Prince Boateng storm off during a midweek friendly against Pro Patria, although there was a fundamental difference.

In that occasion, the racist abuse was heard by the officials, who had already stopped play several times and delivered warnings to the offensive crowd members. Constant appeared to walk off at the first indication of racist abuse, breaking the protocol put in place for these situations.

He also commented on encouraging Serie A clubs to use more home-grown Under-21 players on a regular basis.

“The European Under-21 Championship Final against Spain was the perfect example: our players, albeit with great potential, lost the duel against more experienced players, because almost all the Spanish Under-21s had already made their Champions League debuts.

“In Italy they only believe in youth when they are forced to do so. The arrival of many foreign champions into Serie A can be good for the clubs on an international level, but not so good for the young home-grown players.

“Since 2011 there has been talk of introducing ‘B Teams’ for the top flight clubs, but we have to see what benefits it can bring. There’s nothing worse than playing a youngster just because he’s young and not because they believe in his abilities.”