Italian body decides on procedures in racism cases

Photo: Emilio Andreoli/AP

Kevin-Prince Boateng (right) gestures toward the crowd that made racist chants last week.

Italy's watchdog body for sports events says only a special public order officer will have the power to suspend matches in cases of racism, intolerance or anti-Semitism.

The announcement comes after racist chants prompted AC Milan players to walk off the field during an exhibition game last week with fourth-division club Pro Patria.

The watchdog body is presided over by Italy's police chief and Italy's soccer federation.

The group says referees need to contact the public order officer through the fourth official. The officer can then decide whether to suspend the match temporarily and warn fans on the public address system or suspend the game definitively.

Earlier Wednesday, a preliminary judge barred six Pro Patria fans accused of inciting racism from all sports events in Italy for five years.

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