Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 21st 2013 Contents A50
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
FLORENCE---Italy must adopt a zero tolerance
policy towards racism in football if it is to erad-
icate the problem from the sport, national team
coach Cesare Prandelli said yesterday.
A number of Italian clubs have been punished
for racist incidents recently.
"It is a serious problem, a problem that is not
only the national team's or Milan's but Italian
football's," Prandelli said. "If we want to be credible
on a European and worldwide level, we can't tol-
erate anything anymore.
"It starts with a boo' and then you don't know
where it will go. It is a long path, but you have
to make it clear to everyone how they have to
AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli has said he
will walk off the field the next time he is racially
abused, following the example of strike partner
Kevin-Prince Boateng, who led his teammates
off the pitch when he was racially abused during
an exhibition game against an Italian fourth-tier
side in January.
"It's never happened in the national team but
we would be the first to go onto the pitch and
embrace him so he wouldn't go off," Prandelli
"I haven't talked with (Balotelli) about racism.
We won't just talk about it with him, but with
Italian referee chief Marcello Nicchi said earlier
this week that any player who did walk off would
be sent off.
Balotelli---who was again racially abused last
night by Fiorentina fans Sunday night as Milan
returned from its victory against Siena---took to
Twitter to respond.
"Look again at this rule for racist buu that if
I leave the pitch I leave my team in 10 please it's
very inhumane," he wrote.
UEFA Head of Referees Pierluigi Collina said
yesterday that a player who walks off in such an
incident would not be sent off.
"It is not right that a player, in order to assert
on of their own rights, to defend their dignity,
must leave the pitch," Collina said. "But if this
should happen, he should not be sent off.
"In UEFA competitions there is already a pro-
cedure that the delegates and referees should
enact when such episodes happen, there are var-
ious phases from the temporary suspension of
the game to the complete abandonment."
AC Milan's match against Roma this month
was stopped for 97 seconds when visiting Roma
supporters would not stop chanting at Balotelli
and Boateng. Inter Milan and Lazio have both
been fined following racist incidents during Europa
League matches against Tottenham, with Lazio
also being ordered to play two matches behind
closed doors. (AP)
SINGAPORE---Atletico Madrid will not stand
in the way of striker Radamel Falcao if he wants
to leave the club this offseason, general manager
Miguel Angel Gil Marin said yesterday.
Marin said in Singapore that it's up to Falcao
to decide whether to say at Atletico---the newly
crowned Copa del Rey champions---but the club
would support him no matter what he chooses.
"Before the start of the season we talked with
(Falcao) and we promised him if he keeps the
same performance and he helps us to arrive to
the UEFA Champions League next season, Atletico
will help you," Marin said. "Every decision he will
take, Atletico will be with him."
The 27-year-old striker has been linked with
possible moves to Manchester City, Manchester
United, Chelsea, French side Monaco and Real
Ahead of the Copa del Rey final on Friday,
Falcao dismissed reports he was considering going
to another team, saying he was focused only on
winning a title for Atletico.
Marin said Atletico would find a way to replace
Falcao's scoring if he does exit.
"Atletico knows how to change the good strik-
er_Fernando Torres, (Diego) Forlan, (Sergio) Aguero,
now Falcao," he said. "I don't know exactly which
will be the next one, but you can be sure Atletico
will have a strong team next season."
Atletico is in Singapore to play a charity match
against a select Singaporean side just days after
beating Real Madrid 2-1 to capture the Copa del
Rey, ending a 14-year winless run against their
Falcao---nicknamed "El Tigre," or "The Tiger"---
played a pivotal role for Atletico this season, scoring
34 goals in all competitions.
He also set up Diego Costa's equaliser in the
Copa del Rey final.
Atletico bought Falcao from FC Porto in 2011
in a Portuguese and club record transfer deal of
40 million euros. (AP)
isers acknowledge there were
setbacks in the inauguration
of the stadium which will host
the opener of the Confedera-
tions Cup, vowing to try to fix
the problems in time for the
second and final test event at
the venue next Sunday.
After a series of delays, the
Estadio Nacional was finally
delivered on Saturday in Brasil-
ia, but the venue is far from
completed and organisers find
themselves racing against time
to get it ready by June 15, when
Brazil faces Japan in the Con-
federations Cup opener.
Local officials said yesterday
the stadium was not finalised
before the inauguration, when
about three per cent of the
work was yet to be completed.
Only about 20,000 people were
allowed at the venue on Sat-
urday, when two local clubs
played the inaugural match
after Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff participated in the
The final test event is sched-
uled for Sunday, when the
venue will be open to more
than 70,000 fans for the match
between traditional clubs San-
tos and Flamengo in the first
round of the Brazilian league.
FIFA originally wanted three
test events in each of the six
Confederations Cup venues,
but it had to make exceptions
because of a series of delays in
stadium construction. The
Maracana Stadium, which will
host the Confederations Cup
final on June 30, also will only
host one full test event open
to the public. The Brasilia venue
was delayed because of a prob-
lem with the pitch installation.
Local authorities said there
could be irreversible damage to
the playing field if the stadium's
opening wasn't moved forward.
They blamed excessive rain in
the region for the disruption
of the installation schedule.
The stadium is one of the
most expensive venues built in
Brazil, costing about $500 mil-
lion. It is also one of the most
criticised, with many saying
that it will become a "white
elephant" after the World Cup
because the city has no teams
in top leagues. (AP)
MILAN --- Veteran AC Milan
goalkeeper Christian Abbiati
has signed a one-year contract
extension with the Serie A club.
Abbiati's contract was set to
expire next month but he agreed
to a new deal tying him to the
club until June 2014.
Abbiati says "I've signed for
a year and that's the club's pol-
icy, but I am happy to start
another season with Milan
which is my family."
Abbiati, who turns 36 in July,
has been at Milan since 1998.
He spent three years away from
the club on loan spells with
Juventus, Torino and Atletico
Abbiati featured in 28 of
Milan's 38 league games this
season, helping it to a third-
place finish in Serie A. He also
appeared in seven Champions
League matches and one Italian
Cup game. (AP)
MILAN---AC Milan vice
president Adriano Galliani
will meet with Massimiliano
Allegri tomorrow to discuss
the coach s future at the
Serie A club.
Allegri steered Milan to
third spot and a place in the
Champions League qualifiers,
but his future remains uncer-
tain, with speculation of a
move to Roma after criticism
from club owner and former
Italian Premier Silvio Berlus-
Galliani says "I will listen
to Allegri on Wednesday
(tomorrow), understand what
he wants to do and then
together with the president
we will make a decision in
light of what the coach
Allegri, who has a year left
on his contract, has led Milan
to a first, second and third-
place finish in his three years
at the club. This season's
third-place finish came
despite losing an entire
squad's worth of top players
last summer. (AP)
Dortmund s central
defender Mats Hummels
is expected to recover
from an ankle injury in
time to play in the
Champions League final
against Bayern Munich.
Hummels twisted his
right ankle in the 2-1
home loss to Hoffenheim
in the final round of the
Bundesliga on Saturday.
Team doctor Markus
Braun says Hummels
being on the field Satur-
day at Wembley is
Hummels said that the
injury was not as bad as
originally feared and that
"I should OK for the
Italy coach calls for zero
tolerance to racism
AC Milan's Mario Balotelli, left, and Siena's Adrian
Calello vie for the ball during a Serie A football
match between Siena and AC Milan, in Siena,
Italy, Sunday. Milan won 2-1. AP PHOTO
Atletico to support
Goetze should return to
team practice today after
a hamstring injury and
also is expected to be
ready for the final, his
last game for Dortmund
before transferring to
Defender Mats Hummels
on the mend for Wembley
Officials admit to problems at Confed Cup stadium
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