Sepp Blatter does not think footballers being racially abused should walk off
FIFA president Sepp Blatter says footballers should not walk off the pitch if they are subjected to racist abuse.
Last Updated: 07/01/13 8:40am
The issue hit the headlines around the world on Thursday when Kevin-Prince Boateng led the AC Milan team off during a friendly against lower division Pro Patria because of racist chanting by fans.
Boateng said afterwards: "I was angry, sad, shocked. For things like this still to happen in 2013 is a disgrace, not just for Italy, but for football in the whole world.
"I wanted to send out a signal to the world that things cannot go on like this. We need to open our eyes."
However, Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper on Sunday quoted Blatter 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."
However, Blatter also spoke in support of Boateng and called for tougher punishment for clubs whose fans racially abuse footballers.
"This issue is a very touchy subject but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium," he said.
"The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar.
"The Italian federation have yet to provide Fifa with the report detailing what exactly has happened and I have just learnt about this, but we have to have no tolerance with racism, absolutely no tolerance. This action is an example that the spectators must behave well."