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By ESPN Staff
Feb 3, 2007

Platini backs FIGC over police killing response

NYON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - UEFA president Michel Platini gave his support on Saturday to the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) decision to suspend play at all levels of the game in the country following the death of a policeman at a match.

Platini, elected UEFA president on Jan. 26, also offered condolences to the family of the policeman killed in clashes between fans at a Serie A game in Sicily on Friday, the second soccer-related death in Italy in a week.

'Firstly, I extend my heartfelt personal condolences, together with those of the entire European football family, to the family of the police officer, Filippo Raciti, who lost his life yesterday,' Platini said.

'Violence of any sort is unacceptable and it has absolutely no place in the game of football -- we do not condone it, we must not accept it and we must act to eradicate it,' he added.

'That is why today UEFA offers its whole-hearted support for the actions taken by the FIGC's extraordinary commissioner, Luca Pancalli, to indefinitely suspend all international and domestic matches until further notice.'

Platini vowed UEFA would help the Italian authorities and those of other European countries to eradicate violence from football.

'Following the death of a Paris Saint-Germain FC supporter last year and the rioting of Feyenoord fans in Nancy, this latest episode further deepens our concern about violence creeping back into the game,' Platini said.

'We must now work together with the Italian football authorities and politicians in support of the Italian game, and find a solution to this spiral of violence that is plaguing European football.'