Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2013 Contents A57
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MILAN---Fifa president Sepp Blatter was "appalled"
when he learned that AC Milan s match against
Roma was suspended because of racist chanting.
Sunday s game was stopped for 97 seconds during
the second half when visiting Roma supporters would
not stop chanting at Milan players Mario Balotelli
and Kevin-Prince Boateng. The league fined Roma
€50,000 (US$64,865) yesterday.
"Appalled to read about racist abuse in Serie A last
night," Blatter tweeted yesterday. "Tackling this issue
is complex, but we re committed to action, not just
Blatter added that Fifa s taskforce against racism
and discrimination is "serious about devising a unified
approach for Fifa s 209 members."
Referee Gianluca Rocchi made the decision to sus-
pend the match briefly after warnings issued over
the stadium speaker system went unheeded. Roma
captain Francesco Totti had also attempted to calm
the fans to no avail.
This was the first time a Serie A match was sus-
pended due to racism. The match at Milan s San Siro
stadium ended 0-0.
Balotelli was born in Italy to Ghanian immigrants
and is the star forward of Italy s national squad.
Boateng was born in Germany to a German mother
and a Ghanian father and plays for Ghana s national
Roma general director Franco Baldini contested
whether the chants were racist.
"The boos were directed at Balotelli because he s
a feared player," Baldini said, according to the Gazzetta
dello Sport. "The nature of the chants was not clear.
And I clearly heard the Milan fans chanting romano
bastardo --- roman bastard ---which is just as dis-
criminatory. It s difficult to figure out where the
border is between racial discrimination or simple
In January, Boateng famously walked off the field
with his teammates after enduring racist abuse during
a friendly against a fourth-tier Italian club.
"The perception is still that in certain areas of the
stadium you can do anything," Italian players asso-
ciation president Damiano Tommasi said. "It s impor-
tant to make those people feel more and more in the
"The goal is to make people who behave poorly
leave the stadium, although that s not simple for rea-
sons of public safety," Tommasi added. "It s always
a very fine line between penalising the majority of
people who go to the stadium to enjoy the show and
punishing the minority who ruin it. It s not simple
but it seems to me that yesterday everyone was in
agreement with Rocchi s decision." (AP)
LONDON---The English Foot-
ball Association is due to vote
this week to introduce mini-
matchgame bans for racial
The sanction will rise if there
are aggravating circumstances,
people familiar with the situation
spoke about the proposal, which
is in response to concerns about
a resurgence of racism in the
The people spoke on condi-
tion of anonymity because they
were not authorised to discuss
the details ahead of the vote at
the FA annual general meeting
FA chairman David Bernstein
confirmed last week that the
organisation is preparing to pres-
ent new anti-racism measures,
while stating it wouldn t back
UEFA proposals for a 10-match
minimum ban for racist abuse.
"We don t have to follow
UEFA," Bernstein said. "Ours is
a very detailed and thought-out
proposal. It is not likely to be
exactly in line with UEFA s.
"Ours will have a minimum,
but it will have a clear acceler-
ation from that minimum. We
may well yet go beyond the 10
The FA leadership has been
under pressure to introduce
tougher and clearer sanctions.
In the past two years, Liverpool
striker Luis Suarez and Chelsea
captain John Terry have been
banned for racial abuse. Suarez
was suspended for eight match-
es, while Terry received half that
The minimum ban will apply
to people found guilty by the FA
of any form of discrimination.
But anti-racism campaigners
believe the FA should fall into
line with UEFA s plans. At its
congress in London next week,
European football s governing
body will be asking its 53 mem-
bers to adopt the 10-match sus-
Herman Ouseley, chairman
of English football anti-racism
group Kick It Out, is calling for
stronger deterrents. (AP) Blatter
English football set for 5-match racism ban Fifa President
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