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With the thorny subject of racism again raising its ugly head in football, UEFA President, Michel Platini warned that players who walk off during a game at the European Championships, will be yellow carded. This follows Italian striker Mario Balotelli threat to do something similar if he is racially abused in Poland or the Ukraine.
“It’s a yellow card”; Platini said at a press conference in Warsaw today. “We’d certainly support the referee if he decided to stop the game. It’s not the player, Mr. Balotelli who’s in charge of refereeing. It’s the referee who takes these decisions. So, the referee has been given advice and he can stop the game if there are problems. We will stop the game if there are problems because I think racism if the worst of this”.
The prospect of racist trouble at the event was highlighted on the Panorama programme on BBC last week. As a result, the families of English players Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, have chosen not to fly out to the tournament, while former player Sol Campbell has warned black fans of even the worst scenario. Platini responded to comments by Campbell that deaths could even occur by saying that: “I don’t think there’s any more racism in Poland and the Ukraine than there is in France or anywhere else, even in England. It’s a footballing problem. It’s a problem for society”.