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Mar 22, 2013

Boateng: Football needs a 'black Mourinho'

AC Milan striker Kevin-Prince Boateng claims racism can be eradicated from football if there is greater multiculturalism amongst the game's most influential positions, insisting a "black Mourinho" would help to deal with prejudice.

Boateng, 26, walked off the pitch during a friendly match against fourth-tier side Pro Patria in January after he was allegedly subjected to racial abuse.

The Ghana international met with Fifa president Sepp Blatter on Thursday to discuss the prevalence of racism in sport and, prior to the meeting, he admitted significant changes must be implemented.

"If it's more multi-cultural, it gets more people and more countries involved and these things can help," Boateng told BBC. "Let's hope that soon there's going to be a black [Jose] Mourinho and Pakistani [Pep] Guardiola.

"A player who does something wrong, who is racist, can never play for the club again or can never play in the country again. These are the things that hurt and I think this is the right way to go. [It needs to be] very strict, very hard and make it very clear. Money doesn't really hurt, it's not the subject that can hurt you so much."

Boateng admitted he has been the victim of racial abuse for a number of years but was too apprehensive to confront the issue.

"Racism can be found on the streets, at work and even in football stadiums," he said. There were times in my life when I didn't want to deal with this subject. I tried to ignore racism, similar to a headache that you know will go away if you just wait long enough. But that was (a) misconception. Racism does not go away. If we don't confront it, it will spread."

Blatter, Boateng and former France captain Patrick Viera also attended a meeting with some of the U.N.'s top human rights officials and football figures to seek out a resolution.

Viera believes racism should be greater recognised as a crime to raise more awareness: "Racism is unacceptable. It's a crime which has no place on the football field or in any sporting event," he said. "Racist insults are frequent, very frequent, in fact more frequent than people think... No part of the world is spared."

Meanwhile, Fifa's head of social responsibility programs, Federico Addiechi, suggested teams could soon be penalised for the actions of their fans.

"We know fines are not and may not be enough. Deducting points from a team could send a very strong message," Addiechi said. "Relegating or eliminating a team from a competition can send an even stronger message.