By David Kwalimwa
Inter midfielder Macdonald Mariga has described the recent racism incident that led to the premature end of AC Milan's friendly match against Pro Patria as "unfortunate".
The former Parma player, who has been in Italy for the past five years, condemned the incident in which Ghanaian midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng walked off the pitch after racist chants from opposition fans of the fourth division side.
The former Portsmouth and Tottenham midfielder was so incensed by the chants emanating from one corner of the ground that he picked the ball up and booted it towards the offending supporters before ripping off his shirt and storming off the pitch.
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“It’s unfortunate that such things still happen in this day and age. I don’t want to dwell on the personal decision of Prince but hopefully what happened will send a message to those behind such uncouth behaviours,” Mariga told Goal.com.
“I have played in Italy for sometime now and it’s true such incidents happen. It demoralises a player to an extent that we feel looked down upon, though players take consolation from the fact that it’s a small section of fans.”
During the match that lasted only 25 minutes, there was a brief period of confusion as players from both sides talked to the Ghanaian, but AC Milan’s Italian captain Massimo Ambrosini instructed the rest of the team to walk off the pitch in a show of solidarity with the German-born midfielder.
The match, which was scoreless at the time, was not resumed. The game was played in Busto Arsizio, a town located north of Milan.