'It could have an impact on the future' - Referee who stopped play calls for greater action against racism

Gianluca Rocchi halted a match between AC Milan and Roma in May due to racist chants from the crowd, and the official hopes his example could pave the way for others in the game
The referee who stopped play between AC Milan and Roma earlier this year due to racist chants from the crowd has called for greater action to be taken against offenders.

Gianluca Rocchi stopped the match between Milan and the Giallorossi on May 12 after abusive chants from the stands were directed at Rossoneri trio Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sulley Muntari and Mario Balotelli.

The official has now been awarded with the Purple Card fair play award by Fiorentina and hopes that his actions will lead to a reduction in racially-aggravated incidents in football.

"Several times [during the match] the players asked me to suspend the game and understand their discomfort," the 39-year-old was quoted as saying by La Repubblica.

"I knew that if there were problems, I could suspend the game. It was a small gesture that could also have an impact on the future.

"After suspending the game, I received appreciation for the gesture by both players and the leaders of both clubs."

Rocchi then concluded by demanding stricter rules when it comes to dealing with individuals found guilty of racism in the sport, adding: "The world of football should do their best to isolate certain people."