Italy's Cesare Prandelli has been a successful head coach in a country that has struggled with racism.
Italy's Cesare Prandelli has been a successful head coach in a country that has struggled with racism.
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) -Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says football must adopt a zero tolerance policy towards racism if it is to eradicate the problem from the sport.

A number of Italian clubs have been punished for racist incidents recently.

Prandelli says "it is a serious problem, a problem that is not only the national team's or Milan's but Italian football's. If we want to be credible, we can't tolerate anything anymore.''

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has said he will walk off the field the next time he is racially abused.

Prandelli adds "we will be the first to go onto the pitch and embrace him so he wouldn't go off.''

UEFA Head of Referees Pierluigi Collina says a player who walks off in such an incident would not be sent off.

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