FIFA President Sepp Blatter Under Fire For Comments About Boateng's Racism Protest
FIFA President Sepp Blatter "has come under fire following his 'nonsensical' comments that Kevin-Prince Boateng and Milan were wrong to 'run away' when targeted by racist chants during a friendly match in Italy last week," according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. Piara Powar, the exec director of the Fare network, which aims to rid football of racism, said that Blatter "was in no position to tell Boateng how to react in the face of such abuse." Powar said, "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 ethic minority, and what might be the right or wrong way to respond?" EPL Reading striker Jason Roberts tweeted his disapproval of the FIFA president's remarks: "This is CLASSIC..Blatter has outdone himself here...So..if you are being racially abused in a game, and have reported it to the Ref 3 times, just stand there and take it, that way YOU win.." Roberts added: "No Thanks Sepp...tried that..65k fine for repeat offenders like Serbia etc..how about..WALK OFF THE PITCH..the only language you understand!" AC Milan Manager Massimiliano Allegri also "defended his players in response to Blatter's comments." Allegri said, "We wanted to give a signal. Players can't suspend a match but others can. There need to be rules put in place. We made a signal for the future. There needs to be more civility in Italian stadiums" (GUARDIAN, 1/6). AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi rejected the FIFA president's position 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" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 1/7).