Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he would stand by his players if they decided to leave the field of play in protest of racial abuse in the aftermath of the treatment of Danny Rose for the England Under-21 side in Serbia.
The English youngster was abused by Serbian fans throughout the game, and he was eventually sent off for his reaction following Connor Wickham's late winner, sparking a melee between players and staff of both sides.
Ferguson said he would support his own players if they chose to protest in similar circumstances - despite his condemnation of Rio Ferdinand for refusing to wear a 'Kick It out' T-shirt before United's clash against Stoke on Saturday
"I have not seen what happened with England in Serbia, I have only taken in what I've read," he told The People. "But I do not think it is any different to what has happened in previous games in that particular place and in quite a few other places.
"Italy is the same. You hear them abusing black players. Do the players walk off? I would not blame them - and that could happen at some point. If it was one of my players who walked off, you would have to support them."
Sir Alex suggested he would be punishing Ferdinand for the defender's stance regarding the 'Kick It Out' shirts, having earlier criticized Jason Roberts' decision not to wear one, leaving the Scot "embarrassed" by his player's actions.