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UN invites Milan soccer player to anti-racism event

Kevin Prince Boateng's walk-off gained headlines worldwide

16 January, 16:11
UN invites Milan soccer player to anti-racism event (ANSA) - Milan, January 16 - Soccer star Kevin Prince Boateng, the victim of racial abuse by fans earlier this month, was invited Wednesday by the United Nations to join a formal commemoration of the International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The event will be held on March 21 in Geneva, says Boateng's team, AC Milan.

The theme of this year's event, Sports and Racism, was announced amid controversy, and worldwide headlines, over the Ghanaian midfielder's decision to walk off the field during a friendly match on January 3 where fans of the opposing fourth-tier team Pro Patria shouted racial slurs.

The UN invitation comes one day after a sporting judge upheld the walk-off, saying it was an acceptable action in the face of unacceptable fan behaviour at the match at Busto Arsizio, north of Milan.

Italian football has been battling racism in the stands for a number of years after several shameful high-profile incidents.

Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has said the team would also walk out of official games if there were racist chanting, including matches in the European Champions League.