Kevin-Prince Boateng says racist players should be sacked

AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng says racist players should not be able to play for their club again.

The Ghanaian walked off the pitch against Italian team Pro Patria after he was racially abused by their fans.

His actions come after Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea's John Terry were sanctioned for using racist language.

Boateng, 26, said: "A player who does something wrong, who is racist, can never play for the club again or can never play in the country again."

The former Portsmouth player admitted walking off the pitch in January during a mid-season friendly against the lower-league club was "not the right thing to do".

Recent racism in football

Mario Balotelli
  • 18 March: Two West Ham fans arrested over racially-aggravated public order offences in Premier League match against Chelsea
  • 18 March: Inter Milan fans charged for racist behaviour against Tottenham in Europa League
  • 26 February: Inter fined after fans abuse AC Milan's Mario Balotelli (pictured) in Milan derby
  • 6 February: AC Milan vice-president accused of using racist language to describe Balotelli
  • 30 January: Lazio fined for racist chanting in Europa League games against Tottenham and Maribor
  • 3 January 2013: Kevin-Prince Boateng walks off pitch after chanting from rival fans

But, ahead of a meeting with Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who praised Boateng's actions, the player believes it sent a "big message" to racists in football.

Asked if more black and ethnic minority players should be in positions of power, Boateng replied: "If it's more multi-cultural, it gets more people and more countries involved and these things can help.

"Let's hope that soon there's going to be a black [Jose] Mourinho and Pakistani [Pep] Guardiola."

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Suarez was given an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine by the Football Association after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October 2011.

Eleven months later, Chelsea captain John Terry was suspended for four matches and fined £220,000 for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, although Terry was cleared of the same offence in court.

And Boateng said football authorities needed to be stricter in their punishments for fans and players.

"Money doesn't really hurt, it's not the subject that can hurt you so much," Boateng told BBC Sport.

Analysis

"Kevin-Prince Boateng's principled stance was a watershed moment for football and has forced its authorities to get tough and introduce a new sanctions regime.

"New penalties under consideration by the game's custodians include points deductions, relegation or exclusion from major competitions for errant teams.

"Fifa and Uefa both argue that football is simply a mirror on society and they can't be blamed for its ills.

"But after years of punishing teams and players financially there is widespread agreement that the penalties must be substantially increased if the game is to effectively deal with an issue many thought had been consigned to the past.

"If there's a fan who has done something wrong and he can never come to the stadium again, that is something that can hurt you because you're a fan and you love the sport.

"Or a football player who does something wrong, who is racist, and can never play for the club again or can never play in the country again. These are the things that hurt and I think this is the right way to go. [It needs to be] very strict, very hard and make it very clear."

That stance has already been backed by Fifa, with new anti-racism chief Jeffrey Webb believing tougher penalties like relegation and exclusion from major tournaments need to be introduced.

Webb also said he had plans to meet the perpetrators and victims of racism in English football.

Uefa fined Serbia £65,000 after England Under-21 players were the subject of racist abuse in a Euro 2013 play-off, while the European governing body has imposed fines on Italian team Lazio for racist chanting this season.

Boateng's AC Milan team-mate Mario Balotelli has also recently been racially abused by fans of rival team Inter during the Milan derby, with the club being sanctioned by Serie A officials.

Reflecting on his walk-off in January, Boateng added: "If I look back I know it wasn't the right thing to do because we are professionals, we are entertainers, we have to entertain the people and we are paid to be on the field.

"So maybe it's not the right thing to do but someone had to do it. It is not that I woke up one day and said 'I want to be that one'. I just did it out of emotions and I think it was a big, big signal and a big message.

"From that signal, from that message, we can move on and go in the perfect, right direction to fight against [racism]."