By David Kwalimwa
Kenya and Inter Milan midfielder Macdonald Mariga says the recent racism incidents that led to a pre-mature end of a football match involving cross town rivals AC Milan are ‘unfortunate’.
The former Parma FC player who has been in Italy for the past five years, condemned the incident in which Ghanian midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng walked off the pitch after racist chants from opposition fans of fourth division side Pro Patria.
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 in the stands before ripping off his shirt and storming off the pitch.
“It’s unfortunate that search things (racism chants) 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 behaviors,” Mariga told Goal.com.
“I have played in Italy for sometime now and it’s true such incidents happen. It demoralizes 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 (who chant racist slurs).”
During the match that lasted only 25 minutes, there was a brief period of confusion as players from both sides persuade the Ghanian, but Milan’s Italian captain Massimo Ambrosini instructed the rest of the Milan team to walk off the pitch in a show of solidarity for 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.