MILAN (AP) — FIFA president Sepp Blatter was “appalled” when he learned of the racist chanting that caused AC Milan’s match against Roma to be suspended.
Sunday’s game was stopped for 97 seconds during the second half when visiting Roma supporters would not stop chanting at Milan players Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng. The league fined Roma 50,000 Euros, equivalent to almost $65,000, on Monday.
“Appalled to read about racist abuse in Serie A last night,” Blatter tweeted Monday. “Tackling this issue is complex, but we’re committed to action, not just words.”
Blatter added that FIFA’s taskforce against racism and discrimination is “serious about devising a unified approach for FIFA’s 209 members.”
Referee Gianluca Rocchi made the decision to suspend the match briefly after warnings issued over the stadium speaker system went unheeded. Roma captain Francesco Totti had also attempted to calm the fans to no avail.
Balotelli was born in Italy to Ghanian immigrants and is the star forward of Italy’s national squad. Boateng was born in Germany to a German mother and a Ghanian father and plays for Ghana’s national team.
The match at Milan’s San Siro stadium ended 0-0.