AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has hit back at FIFA president Sepp Blatter after the world football boss said players who were racially abused during matches should not leave the pitch.
MilanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s players walked off during a friendly after Kevin-Prince Boateng was subjected to racist abuse by fans of fellow Italian side Pro Patria.
Berlusconi told radio station RTL, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am of the opposite view (to Blatter).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thanked and congratulated my players for their decision to leave the field.Ã¢â‚¬Â
AC MilanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s players carried anti-racism messages on their shirts prior to SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s league win against Siena.
And former Italy president Berlusconi continued, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is an uncivilised problem that needs to be stopped, people should not allow these things to happen.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not only about the behaviour of players in the game, but of the public, and everyone needs to avoid giving Italy a negative image.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Former Tottenham and Portsmouth player Boateng picked up the match-ball midway through the first half of ThursdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s friendly and kicked it towards the crowd after reacting to abuse from a section of the fans.
The Ghana international midfielder then removed his shirt and left the pitch with both sets of players and officials.
Boateng has said he would leave the pitch again if subjected to racist taunts in the future.