AC Milan news

Ex-Milan stars question Boateng protest

January 4, 2013
By Adam Digby, Italy Correspondent

Former AC Milan stars Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf have questioned the club's decision to abandon their friendly with Pro Patria due to apparent racist abuse.

Kevin-Prince Boateng leaves the field during the friendly against Pro Patria in Busto Arsizio
GettyImagesKevin-Prince Boateng leaves the field during a January friendly against Pro Patria after alleged racial abuse

• Blog: Boateng right to make stand

The Rossoneri left the field after a section of the crowd directed racist taunts at Kevin-Prince Boateng and were widely applauded for their strong reaction.

However, Dutch midfielder Seedorf - now at Botafogo - said that leaving the field "gave space to these people who behave in a racist manner". His former team-mate Gattuso went further still, telling the Corriere della Sera he did not even believe it was a racist incident.

"I've lived five kilometres away from Busto Arsizio for years and that area is full of foreigners," Gattuso, now with Sion in Switzerland, said. "There are no racists in Busto.

"What happened yesterday was the fault of a group of imbeciles. How many times have there been boos against white players in the past? It's happened to me to but I didn't give it any importance. Boateng certainly felt he was offended but I continue to not see it as racism. It just seems to be the latest episode of collective idiocy from a minority.

He added: "If we are convinced that there is a racism problem then strong decisions need to be made. I, however, continue to believe that Italy is not a racist country."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, though, insists Italy were right to walk away.

"Finally! A great team, a great coach and a great man - Massimiliano Allegri understood the problem," he told TG1 on Wednesday evening. "We are all tired of this. We are all fed up. Italy must grow up and this is the first step. Milan were fantastic, as all together we can probably manage to ruin the plans of these few people."