As EURO 2012 showed us, racism is still alive in the game of Football.
Unfortunately, there is little surprise at the events that occurred during a recent friendly match between Italian squads A.C. Milan and Pro Patria.
A group of Pro Patria supporters began chanting racially driven slurs at the A.C. Milan players of colored descent.
This lead to A.C. Milan Midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng venting his frustrations and punting the ball towards the mob of fans.
As shown in the video, both squads took the initiative to stop play in an act of protest.
What is most disturbing about this is that these chants were not halted by the officials, and rather the players.
The question is why did it take Boateng’s actions to ultimately end the match?
One can certainly point fingers at UEFA and their blatant disregard for racism in the game.
In fact UEFA Officials have stated that players would be punished for combating racism, most notably Michel Platini’s response to Italian forward Mario Balotelli’s threat to walk-off the pitch in response to racism in EURO 2012.
However, the actions of Boateng, A.C. Milan and Pro Patria show that this plaguing issue may have reached its high point in European football.
Players of all colors have had enough, while they play to entertain they by no means should be punching bags for racially driven insults at the hands of ignorant “fans”.
UEFA and the rest of the football world must find a way to prevent this. If not for the moral issue, at least for the stability of the game.
No right-minded person can blame players and teams for walking off the pitch, and it will only be a matter of time before players refuse to play in Europe, and rightfully so.
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