A friendly game between Milan and fourth tier club Pro Patria was abandoned following racist chants directed at Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng according to The Guardian.
The Ghanaian responded to the insults by kicking the ball at the stands in the direction of a group of local fans. He then tore off his shirt and stormed off the pitch while apparently applauding other sections of the fans who in turn reacted by booing the section of the stadium from where the insulting chants were coming. A video of the incident can be found here.
Although at first players from both sides tried to convince Boateng of staying on the pitch, Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini then led the rest of his team off the pitch and the match was abandoned.
The game had run for 26 minutes and no goals were scored. The Telegraph reported that earlier during the match racist chants had already been heard, addressed to Boateng, Urby Emanuelson (Dutch of Surinamese descent), Sulley Muntari (from Ghana) and M'Baye Niang (from France).
Some Pro Patria players had allegedly tried to stop the chants coming from a section of their own fans. (via The Independent)
The president of the club, whose name in Latin signifies “For The Fatherland”, denied that the abusers were fans of the club and said they had attended the club just to make a statement (via The Independent). The game was being played in Busto Arizio, where Pro Patria is based, a town in the north of Italy just 3 miles from Milan.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri expressed the clubs sadness and disappointment with the events saying that he wished that Milan will be able to return to play Pro Patria and the future. He also stated that he wished the abandonment of the match would be an “important signal”. (via Daily Mail)
A number of high profile racism cases have been reported in European football recently.
The English FA suspended Former England captain John Terry for using racist terms against Anton Ferdinand in a Queens Park Ranger vs. Chelsea match last season. A similar suspension was imposed on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.