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Supporters were again heard singing derogatory songs towards southern Italians during Saturday's win over Udinese, prompting the club CEO to suggest segregating the stands

Adriano Galliani admits he is worried that AC Milan will have to close part of the San Siro after further anti-southern chants were heard during the 1-0 win over Udinese on Saturday.

The Rossoneri had Valter Birsa to thank for the victory, with the Slovenian midfielder's first-half strike enough for the hosts to seal three points and lift themselves into seventh.

However, the game was overshadowed by sections of the home crowd who began to sing derogatory songs against southern Italians in an act of protest over the sanctions issued to the club for the same offence in the recent defeat to Napoli.

Despite being warned by the stadium announcer that they risked suspending the game if they continued the chants, fans retorted with a chorus of 'We are not Neopolitans' before unfurling a banner to demonstrate their disgust at the actions taken by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

Milan were set to play Udinese behind closed doors until the proceedings over the incident against Rafa Benitez's side were suspended, but Galliani is now concerned that the latest transgression could see part of the Curva Sud section of the ground closed off.

"I hope and pray that this is not the end of the Curva Sud," the 69-year-old Italian told Corriere dello Sport.

"It is not for me to judge, there is a sports court and degrees of appeal."

Galliani was adamant that "regional discrimination" should not be treated with the same sanctions as racism from the stands, but the Milan CEO has vowed to take action against the minority of supporters who continue to put the club at risk of punishment.

"We will segment the Curva Sud because the choruses always come from a particular section," he said. "I do not think that a society can be continually punished if 50-60 people continue to sing certain songs.

"We do not know what to do. I hope that this story is over and that we find a way to strike those directly responsible."

Milan were initially hit with a €50,000 (£42,300) fine and ordered to play a match behind closed doors after the incident earlier this month, although Galliani appealed the decision and asked for clarification from the FIGC over the regulations concerning derogatory chanting.

The issue has become a huge topic for debate in Italian football over what should be considered discrimination and what is simply 'banter' between supporters.

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