FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng was wrong to walk off the pitch when he was targeted by racists although he insists he supports the battle to beat the bigots.
Boateng was subjected to racist taunts by Pro Patria fans during a friendly in Italy on Thursday and the German-born Ghanaian forward responded by kicking the ball at fans and then storming off the pitch in protest followed by his Milan team-mates.
The 25-year-old is adamant that he would walk off the pitch again if he suffered more racial abuse in the future.
But Blatter said it was the wrong decision.
“Walk off? No. I don’t think that is the solution,” the FIFA chief told The National newspaper on Sunday.
“I don’t think you can run away. This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium; we have to go against that.
“The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions — and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar.”
Blatter repeated that FIFA has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to racism.
“This action is an example that the spectators must behave well because, as I understand it, the player ran away and the others went with him. They cannot go on abusing afterwards,” he said.
Both FIFA and UEFA have previously warned against players walking off the pitch in protest.