Massimiliano Allegri backs decision to suspend Milan's Serie A match against Roma
Massimiliano Allegri backed the decision to briefly suspend AC Milan's Serie A match against Roma amid racist abuse.
Last Updated: 13/05/13 12:33pm
From a footballing perspective, the goalless draw offered various talking points including two red cards and a dubious penalty call, but most notable were the events that immediately followed the half-time break.
Amid consistent booing and chanting directed at several black Milan players from a section of the visiting fans, referee Gianluca Rocchi suspended the game for two minutes while a stadium announcement was made ordering the offenders to desist.
Allegri told the club's website: "In my opinion, there's only one solution to racism in stadiums and that's to suspend the match. To get rid of this stuff in our stadiums, you have to make big decisions.
"It could penalise some people but in the long run it would help us to grow as a nation and become more civilised."
Rocchi was employing new rules introduced in the wake of Rossoneri midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng's decision to walk off the pitch when racially abused during a friendly game held in January.
Sunday night's game also saw Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari dismissed shortly before the interval for physically protesting Rocchi's decision to book him for dissent, while Roma captain Francesco Totti saw red for elbowing Philippe Mexes in the final phases.
"Muntari made a mistake and he's mortified but he shouldn't be crucified," Allegri added.
Two dropped points denied Milan guaranteed Champions League football at San Siro for next season and to secure third place Allegri's men must better or match fourth-placed Fiorentina's result at Pescara when they visit Siena on the final day.
"We have to stay calm," Allegri added. "The team is in good shape physically and now we have to face Siena.
"We didn't win against them earlier in the season and Fiorentina didn't win against Pescara so we're even on that.
"We have to think now about Sunday. The players have earned 69 points. Fiorentina have had a great year and we hope to end up ahead of them."
Roma boss Aurelio Andreazzoli decided against discussing Rocchi's performance, but hinted his side should have been awarded a penalty for Kevin Constant's perceived foul on Erik Lamela.
He told asroma.it: "Did I speak to the players in the locker room? Yes, they said it was a clear penalty on Lamela. Now that you've shown it to me again, I can see it's clearly a penalty.
"The goal-line official was in a good position too, but I remain of the same opinion - I don't want to pass judgment on the match officials' performance.
"Could we have won the game? We needed to show a little more quality to take our chances. We were very good in the first half, then in the second half we lacked ideas.
"Are the 10 points between Roma and Milan a true reflection of the difference between the sides? I don't think so. I think we have as much quality as Milan."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reaffirmed his commitment to tackling racism in football after being "appalled" by the racist abuse that occured in the game.
On his official Twitter account, Blatter wrote: "Appalled to read about racist abuse in Serie A last night. Tackling this issue is complex, but we're committed to action, not just words."
The disciplinary commission of the Lega Serie A are yet to convene to discuss any potential punishment for Roma but this morning saw FIFA publish an outline of proposed sanctions for clubs and individuals found guilty of "racist or discriminative acts".
A statement on fifa.com read: "The newly created FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination, chaired by FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, held its first meeting today at the home of FIFA in Zurich.
"In this first session, the debates focused on the application of sanctions in cases of racist and discriminative acts, specifically studying the proposal to uniformly implement the sanctions that already exist in the FIFA regulations in a stronger and more consistent manner.
"The task force made the following proposals, which will be included in a draft resolution to be presented at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius at the end of May:
"Firstly, having an official at the stadium who would identify potential acts of discrimination with the aim of easing the pressure on referees and facilitating the availability of evidence, which is not always easy to obtain, for the disciplinary committees to take decisions.
"Secondly, applying sanctions in two stages, with a list of applicable sanctions for a first or a minor offence, such as a warning, a fine, or the playing of a match behind closed doors, and a list of stronger sanctions for reoffenders or for serious incidents, such as point deductions, expulsion from a competition, or relegation.
"Thirdly, emphasis on the responsibility of member associations and clubs for the actions of their players, officials and supporters, and on the need to implement the existing sanctions in a harmonised way across all confederations, member associations and leagues, with a proposal to request that clubs and member associations provide a concrete action plan showing their intention to fight any forms of racism and discrimination among their supporters."
The panel includes Premier League referee Howard Webb, FA governance and regulation director Darren Bailey and FARE chief executive Piara Powar as well as AZ Alkmaar striker Jozy Altidore and Milan's Boateng.
"We have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society," Jeffrey Webb said.
"One of the opportunities this task force has is its vast reach throughout FIFA's 209 member associations, where we can implement the resolutions in every region and every country where football is played, bringing universality to the mechanisms that combat racism and discrimination."