Kevin-Prince Boateng calls for diversity in FIFA leadership
AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng believes that ethnic diversity amongst the most influential positions in the game will help eradicate racism from football.
The 26-year-old brought the issue of racism even further into the spotlight when he walked off the pitch during a friendly match against Italian side Pro Patria in January after he was the victim of racial abuse.
He met with FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Thursday to discuss the issue of racism in sport, and feels there needs to be far stricter penalty imposed on those found guilty of racial aggravation.
“If it’s more multi-cultural, it gets more people and more countries involved and these things can help,” Boateng told the BBC.
“Let’s hope that soon there’s going to be a black [Jose] Mourinho and Pakistani [Pep] Guardiola.
“A player who does something wrong, who is racist, can never play for the club again or can never play in the country again. These are the things that hurt and I think this is the right way to go. [It needs to be] very strict, very hard and make it very clear. Money doesn’t really hurt, it’s not the subject that can hurt you so much.”
The Ghanaian admitted to being the victim of racially motivated abuse in the past, but says he chose to try and ignore it rather than confront the issue as he has done now.
“Racism can be found on the streets, at work and even in football stadiums,” he said.
“There were times in my life when I didn’t want to deal with this subject. I tried to ignore racism, similar to a headache that you know will go away if you just wait long enough.
“But that was (a) misconception. Racism does not go away. If we don’t confront it, it will spread.”