Kevin Prince Boateng Walks Off Field: Is FIFA Facing a Player Revolt Against Racism? | TIME.com
The player walk-off led by AC
Milan’s Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng last week to protest racist abuse
during a friendly match against a lower-tier Italian club could mark the
beginning of a player revolt against the ineffective anti-racism efforts by soccer‘s international administrators.
Until now, players have been required, under threat of cards and suspensions, to
take no action in response to racist abuse from the crowd, but instead to leave
it the issue to the referee and match officials. But the efforts by FIFA and its
affiliates — wrist-slap fines imposed on teams and national federations whose
fans have transgressed being the strongest sanction used thus far – haven’t
stopped the abuse. Boateng’s action was a defiant rebuke, not only to the
racists in the crowd, but to the officialdom that has failed to effectively
tackle the problem. If walking off becomes a trend, which it threatens to do,
it will present a profound crisis for the game’s administrators.