Soccer

Blatter: Boateng protest against racial abuse was 'strong'

{eot}
The Canadian Press
1/7/2013 1:34:48 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

ZURICH, Switzerland -- FIFA President Sepp Blatter has praised Kevin-Prince Boateng for making a "strong and courageous" stand by leading his AC Milan teammates off the pitch to protest racial abuse by fans in Italy last week.

But Blatter told the FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday that such protests are not the solution to stop discrimination inside stadiums.

"That is praiseworthy," Blatter said of the Ghana midfielder's action during the first half of a friendly against a fourth-tier Italian club. "But it cannot be the solution in the long term.

"We have to find other sustainable solutions to tackle the problem of racism and discrimination at its roots," Blatter said. "Otherwise, such stands will be made in isolation and lost in the heat of general polemic."

Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo said it was "incredible" that fans still racially abuse players, but questioned if Boateng was right to walk off the pitch.

Boateng was supported by former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola who suggested the player and his club acted "because they believe it was fair."

Blatter acknowledged that Boateng sent out a strong signal.

"A way of saying: this has gone this far, but it goes no further," the FIFA chief said. "Football must not separate people. Football brings people together."

Ronaldo expressed surprise that players were still being racially abused inside stadiums.

"I think this cannot happen in this moment in football," he told reporters before the ceremony. "Because, over time, FIFA, UEFA always speak about fair play and against racism.

"And why is this still happening? It's incredible. This is going to give more power for the racists, the whites against blacks. We should live in peace, all of us."

However, Ronaldo said "you cannot simply walk off" as Boateng did.

"We have to cope have to cope with this kind of audience in the stadium," said the Portugal captain, who suggested that incidents sometimes involve "just a few people. Maybe they have a couple of screws loose."

Sepp Blatter (Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN FC with Luke Wileman, Jason deVos & Kristian Jack - September 15

Luke, Jason and KJ are back in-studio to talk Toronto FC dysfunction, Tim Leiweke's comments, the Whitecaps playoff push, EPL & more.

TSN 690: oranges at halftime: Patrice bernier: sep 11

In depth chat with the Impact Captain who celebrated a milestone 50th Cap for Canada.

TSN 690: oranges at halftime: Gareth Wheeler; sep 11

Laughs a plenty as we chat all things Premier with the host of #BPL on #TSNRadio


More Podcasts

Premier League Shows on TSN.ca

TSN.ca is Canada's exclusive home to highlight and feature programs from the Barclay's Premier League. Check out the latest programs on VOD below.


Net Busters

See all the goals, saves, bloopers and quotes from each week

- Episode 4

Previous episodes:3 | 2 | 1


BPL Match Pack

Weekly match preview show using interesting facts & figures

- Week 3

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television