Boateng joins FIFA racism task force

22 March 2013 04:46

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng -- hailed for walking off the pitch to protest racist abuse from fans -- on Friday agreed to take part in a new FIFA task force on racism.

"I want to be part of this task force. I would like to help," the former Ghana international told reporters after meeting with FIFA president Sepp Blatter at the federation's headquarters in Zurich.

The 26-year-old said that looking at the future he was "very, very positive . and hopefully we will get rid of this illness, racism."

Blatter meanwhile said he was thrilled that Boateng had accepted his proposal: "I am so happy that we have such a great personality in football."

"It was like an earthquake when he walked away in the stadium," Blatter told reporters.

While stressing that Boateng's stand against racism during a friendly against Italian fourth division club Pro Patria in January had been "really a strong sign," Blatter insisted that players walking off the pitch "can't be the solution" and that other measures were needed within the sport.

"The solution is that the whole family of football must go against" racism, he said.

The Swiss FIFA chief has called for sports sanctions, including docking teams for points or relegating them if their fans commit racist acts.

Boateng on Thursday likened racism to a virulent disease that blighted the game, during a United Nations anti-discrimination meeting in Geneva.

"The big problem with racism is that there is no vaccine for it. There are no antibiotics that you can simply take. It is like an extremely dangerous and contagious virus. It is emboldened by our indifference and inaction," he told delegates.

The same day in Zurich, FIFA's executive committee announced the creation of its new task force on racism, to be headed by Jeffrey Webb, the president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

The task force, whose full makeup has yet to be announced, will hand over its proposals at the FIFA congress on Mauritius at the end of May.

Source: AFP