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Friday, January 18, 2013
Boateng honoured by UN invite

Adam Digby, Italy Correspondent

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng says "it is an honour" to have been invited to a United Nations anti-racism event.

• Blog: Boateng makes a stand

Boateng, 25, has been asked to attend the UN's International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination following his reaction to racial abuse during a recent friendly.

The former Tottenham and Portsmouth man walked off the field against fourth-tier side Pro Patria earlier this month, with his team-mates following him from the pitch in a showing of solidarity. That led to the game being abandoned and Boateng being widely lauded for his actions, culminating in the opportunity to address the matter at the event to be held in Geneva on March 15.

"I'm excited and, in some ways, also terrified by the invitation I received yesterday by the UN," Boateng told Gazzetta del Sud. "For me it is an honour, now I have two months to prepare."

Boateng also found out earlier this week that the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) were willing to make an example of his case and not punish him in accordance with their rules. Under normal circumstances only a match official can decide to allow play to be halted but the FIGC revealed in a statement that on this occasion they would make an exception.

The statement read: "The essential values that inform the sport and civilised society mean we cannot discipline a gesture of solidarity towards a man who was victim to crass insults exclusively targeted at the colour of his skin."

Boateng himself is hoping he can use his speech before the gathered dignitaries to share his thoughts on racism in sport, hoping it to soon be a thing of the past.

"We are all equal," he added. "What happened in Busto Arsizio was a bad thing and that now it's gone. I look at the future."




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