15 Jan 2013

Don't run away from racism says FIFA president

5:54 pm on 15 January 2013

The head of football's world governing body FIFA says running away from racism is not the right way to deal with the issue.

The AC Milan player Kevin-Prince Boateng and his teammates walked off the field after he was subjected to abuse during a recent match.

Many players including Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and former Arsenal star Patrick Vieira praised Boateng for standing up to the racists, but FIFA president Sepp Blatter has responded to the incident by insisting players should not leave the pitch.

Blatter is adamant the game should always go on whatever the provocation, but he does admit that greater sanctions need to be placed on guilty parties if football is to effectively combat racism.

In a bid to give more bite to their anti-racism stance, FIFA last week ordered the Bulgarian and Hungarian football associations to play a game behind closed doors in response to racism incidents involving their fans.

But Blatter believes a punishment of point deductions could prove to be even more effective.