Balotelli to be ‘punished’ if he walks off pitch during Euros following ‘racial’ barbs
London : UEFA president Michel Platini has made it clear that no act of indiscipline would be tolerated during the Euros, and added if Italian striker Mario Balotelli, as he claimed, walks off the pitch after getting racially abused, then he would also get a yellow card for it.
Balotelli had earlier insisted he would walk off the pitch if he became victim of racial scoffs at the tournament being held in Poland and Ukraine.
Black players have often been targeted across Eastern Europe, and particularly in Ukraine, but Platini believes it’s a referee’s job to take any kind of action, not players’.
“No, we’d support a referee who stopped the game, not the player who took this decision. If a player left the field on his own, he would get a yellow card. It’s not Mr. Balotelli who’s in charge of refereeing. It’s the referee who makes these decisions,” Platini was quoted saying.
Platini’s comments will further fuel the debate around the astuteness of taking the tournament to hostile countries like Ukraine and Poland, but Platini defended UEFA’s decision.
“I don’t see why clubs and players should be responsible for their fans. I don’t see why a club should be deducted three points and maybe get relegated because their fans are racist,” Platini said.
“We have come up with the best solution — we stop the game. We have given the advice that the referee should do this for a time, we have said they can cancel the game if racism continues to raise its head,” he added.