ROME, Italy January 9 – The fourth division club whose fans caused Kevin-Prince Boateng to lead a walk-off of his AC Milan teammates in a friendly because of racist chants will play their next match behind closed doors, it was announced on Tuesday.
Boateng, a German-born Ghanaian international, has been hailed worldwide for his stance against racist fans of Pro Patria.
The governing body that runs third and fourth division football in Italy, the Lega Pro, reacted Tuesday by ordering that no fans be allowed to attend Pro Patria’s upcoming match.
The behaviour of a group of Pro Patria fans was “of an extreme seriousness”, the Lega Pro said.
What made the matter worse, it added, was that the discrimination came in a friendly and not a competitive match “which, without constituting a justification, could have been an extenuating circumstance”.
The decision to make Pro Patria play behind closed doors was a stronger punishment than a previous 5,000-euro fine handed down earlier this season on the club, which the Lega Pro deemed had been “inefficient”.