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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Boateng: I was treated like 'an animal'

ESPN Staff

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has told an Italian court he was treated like "an animal" by Pro Patria supporters who racially abused him.

Boateng was subjected to relentless abuse during the friendly match on January 3. The player eventually kicked a ball into the stands where the "monkey noises" were coming from before the Milan players walked off in the protest and the match was abandoned.

Boateng told judge Toni Adet Novik at a court in Busto Arsizio that he had also suffered similar racist abuse when he player for German clubs Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund.

He and other players, along with coach Massimiliano Allegri, were giving evidence in the case against Pro Patria fans.

Gazzetta dello Sport quoted the midfielder as telling the court: "Every time I touched the ball I could hear chants being directed straight at me - a kind of 'buh buh' noise that you'd make at an animal.

"I think they were insulting me because my skin isn't white. It happened in Germany too and for me this is clearly racism.''

Allegri added: "He was very shocked and saddened. He was not happy over the following days. These are serious incidents which must not happen and the decision to interrupt the match was the right one.''

Defender Daniele Bonera, who also believes Sulley Muntari, M'Baye Niang and Urby Emanuelson were the target for abuse, said: "He [Boateng] was being insulted every time he touched the ball and the [black] players were very upset. The chants reminded me of monkey noises and I think he's intelligent enough to know the difference between a racist chant and normal teasing.''

Boateng will meet president Sepp Blatter at FIFA headquarters in Geneva on Friday to discuss ways to tackle racism. It follows the creation of FIFA's Anti-Discrimination Taskforce earlier this month.

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