Prandelli says it is necessary to speak out against racism
Italy coach says team's Auschwitz visit was worth 'Cup victory'24 January, 16:20
"Sometimes we are told to tone it down, but when it comes to racism we must all speak up and not give in to indifference," Prandelli said in a interview on Radio 24 of Italy's leading business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
Italy's national team coach said Milan midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng "made a strong gesture" when he walked off the field due to racist chants by opposing fans.
Milan players walked off after racist jeers were directed at black players Boateng, 'Baye Niang, Urby Emanuelson and Sulley Muntari during a friendly match between AC Milan and fourth-tier Pro Patria January 3.
The following week players from Turin team Casale walked off the field in the 38th minute of play after 19-year-old Marco Padovan, originally from Brazil, said that he heard racist insults directed at him and team member Fabiano Ribeiro, also Brazilian, by a Pro Patria player.
Italian football has been battling racism in the stands for a number of years after several shameful high-profile incidents.
"We must have the strength to become indignant, to say enough is enough, and even turn our backs on those chanting offensive slogans," Prandelli said. But it is also important to talk about it, discuss it. We cannot pretend that nothing happened," he reiterated.
Prandelli accompanied the Italian team to Auschwitz in Poland last June when they were there for the Euro 2012. The Italy head coach told Radio 24 that the visit was worth "a World Cup victory and should be obligatory for all schools".