> ANSA English > News

Sports judge sanctions Pro Patria team for fans' abuse

Says that AC Milan players justified in walking off field

15 January, 18:59
Sports judge sanctions Pro Patria team for fans' abuse (ANSA) - Milan, January 15 - A sports judge sanctioned the fourth-tier Pro Patria team Tuesday but cleared Milan in a case involving racist jeers against black players during a friendly match earlier this month.

Sports judge Gianpaolo Tosel said that it was understandable why AC Milan players, led by Kevin Prince Boateng, walked off the field during the match at Busto Arsizio north of Milan on January 3 due to racial abuse.

He noted that while a team is not normally permitted to leave the field, unless ordered off by the referee, the "essential values of sport and civility," allowed players to make gestures of solidarity in the face of "vulgar insults".

Last week, a sports judge ruled that Pro Patria must play their next home league game behind closed doors because of the racist incident.

Many Pro Patria fans painted their fans black for their team's league match to show they are not racist and express solidarity for the black players.