Spain striker Alvaro Negredo says he would support any player who decided to walk off the pitch due to racial abuse from fans.
UEFA president Michel Platini told the media prior to Euro 2012 that players leaving the pitch due to offensive chanting would be booked and only referees had the authority to call a game off if such an incident were to take place.
Italy’s Mario Balotelli, however, has indicated he will not tolerate any racist abuse aimed in his direction, and declared he would gladly ‘kill’ anyone who racially abused him.
Negredo feels it is ‘completely normal’ for a player such as Balotelli to be offended by such abuse.
“Look, this (racism) is a really ugly subject for us and for fans to have to be talking about,” the Sevilla marksman said.
“I think this should have nothing to do with football just because a player is of a different colour. This has to do with other things too.
“I have known and been with many companions of mine of a different colour and never had any problems with these things.”
Negredo said he would defend any player who decided to leave the field of play due to racial abuse.
“To be honest, if any player goes through abuse and feels offended, then I think it is a completely normal feeling because nobody ever wants to be insulted over their race or for their colour – or for anything,” he said.
“And so in this sense I would defend whoever chooses to walk off the pitch”
He said the Spain squad had discussed the issue of racism and wanted strict measures implemented to help combat the problem.
“Racism has been talked about in the squad but also not to the degree of such intensity,” he said.
“For example, we have discussed the issue when we are all eating together because it’s not a nice subject.
“It’s not a good subject for a country or for any team.
“But at the same time the whole world really wants there to be a much tougher stance on this matter and for all people to be much better prepared over these issues. And, in truth, this is something that we all have to be careful with.”
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