Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand and Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany have applauded Kevin Prince Boateng for refusing to play in front of racist fans by storming off the pitch.
The AC Milan midfielder was targeted by fans during the club’s clash with fourth-tier side Pro Patria before he picked up the ball near the touchline and kicked it at fans.
The match was abandoned in the 26th minute and Boateng’s teammates joined officials in walking off the pitch.
The former Tottenham player’s actions have been positively received by many in the world of football.
Rio Ferdinand, who refused to wear a t-shirt supporting anti-racism campaigns in football, said: “If the stories about KPB walking off the pitch with teammates after being racially abused are true, fair play to him…well done. #UEFAStandUp.
“Will UEFA fine AC Milan for not controlling their players now?!”
His former United teammate Michael Owen tweeted: “That Prince Boateng footage from the Milan game is shocking.
“Shame it takes a player to do that instead of the authorities being proactive.”
RACIST ABUSE: Kevin-Prince Boateng picks up ball and kicks it at racist fans before storming off pitch
City’s Premier League winning captain Kompany said: “I can only salute Milan’s decision to leave the pitch. Also noted that the majority of the fans were completely supportive of the players.”
“How about becoming extremely intolerant towards racist idiots? They need to be told.”
While walking off the field, Boateng showed his appreciation for the majority of fans by applauding them – the same fans then appear to taunt and jeer at those chanting racist abuse.
The 25-year-old Ghanian departed despite numerous Prop Patria players attempting to reason with him.
Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri: “We are disappointed and saddened by what has happened.
“Milan play for the right to respect all players. We need to stop these uncivilised gestures.
“We are sorry for all the other fans who came here for a beautiful day of sport. We promise to return, and we are sorry for the club and players of Pro Patria, but we could not make any other decision.
“I hope it can be an important signal.”
Ex-United and England striker Andrew Cole said: “Well done AC Milan, walk off and support your black players.”