Racism controversy

Ronaldo questions Boateng walk-off

January 7, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Cristiano Ronaldo has said it is not necessarily right for players to walk off the field in response to racist chants from the stands.

Kevin-Prince Boateng displays an anti-racism message on his AC Milan shirt
GettyImagesKevin-Prince Boateng displays an anti-racism message on his AC Milan shirt

AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng left the pitch during a friendly with Pro Patria last week, but FIFA president Sepp Blatter said this week that he did not believe it was right to abandon matches as a result of abuse.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo, speaking at the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony, said leaving the pitch was not necessarily the best option but stressed that it was up to each individual to decide.

"It is not good," he said. "We should all be able to live in peace. Boateng made his own personal decision.

"Sometimes things happen and you cannot simply walk off the pitch. We have to cope with people and fans inside the stadium.

"Maybe these people have a few screws loose. It is not the whole stadium - it is just a few people. As for walking off, it depends on the person and the moment."

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta called the regular instances of such abuse "sad" and urged further punishment of those hurling the abuse.

"It is sad that these things happen and continue to happen over and over again," he said.

"It would be good if this minority of people could be punished or their attitude could be corrected in some way. It is something very sad and [a player's] reaction is very personal."