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Jan, 15, 2013

Boateng avoids punishment

AC Milan and Kevin-Prince Boateng will not be punished for leaving the field and abandoning their friendly with Pro Patria following racist abuse directed at the midfielder.

• Blog: Home is where the heart is

The match, which took place on January 2, was marred by a stream of taunts and chants towards a number of Milan players and after just 26 minutes of the encounter the Ghanaian took the decision to leave the pitch. He was followed by his team-mates and club officials, with the referee left with no choice but to call off the tie.

Rules on how to proceed in such situations are unclear, leading to speculation the player and club could eventually be penalised for their actions despite the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete saying last week that the goverbing body were "prepared to suspend games on a temporary or permanent basis to fight racist abuse."

On Tuesday afternoon however, the FIGC Disciplinary Commission issued a statement which said that - despite the absence of a rule by which to do so - it would not charge the Rossoneri over the matter.

The statement said: "In the current rules no regulation allows for a team to interrupt a match and abandon the pitch if not in accordance with the decisions of the referee.

"However, the essential values that inform the sport and civilised society mean we cannot discipline a gesture of solidarity towards a man who was victim to crass insults exclusively targeted at the colour of his skin."

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