Geneva

Soccer: AC Milan player describes racism to UN rights body

Boateng invited to speak at human-rights forum

Soccer: AC Milan player describes racism to UN rights body

Geneva, March 21 - Racism is like malaria, a disease that has to be fought and beaten at its source, Italian soccer star Kevin Prince Boateng told United Nations human rights officials Thursday. "Thinking you can defeat racism by ignoring it is the biggest mistake we can commit," said Boateng, a midfielder who has been a victim of racism as a player with AC Milan's soccer team. "It is like malaria, and has no antibiotics. You have to go into the swamp and fight it". Boateng was invited to speak a forum organized by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, after he and his teammates left a match amid racist chants last January. "The sport has a social responsibility, and can do so much," Boateng said. On Wednesday, Boateng described for Milan prosecutors the January 3 match when Milan players left the field after fans from opposing team were heard chanting racist jeers. The friendly match against fourth-tier Pro Patria at Busto Arsizio north of Milan was first interrupted and then scrapped altogether after Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini led his teammates off the pitch. Boateng, who spoke to the court for 20 minutes, said that "every time I touched the ball I heard animal-like noises coming from the stands". Prosecutors have been taking testimonies for investigations into incitement of racial hatred and personal injury against the AC Milan players.

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