By David Kwalimwa
McDonald Mariga has labelled the recent racism storm that saw Kevin-Prince Boateng lead AC Milan from the field during a recent friendly as "unfortunate".
The Inter midfielder - who has played in Italy for the past five years - condemned the incident involving his side's arch-rivals and lower league outfit Pro Patria.
Boateng was so incensed by the chants emanating from one corner of the ground that he picked the ball up and kicked it towards the offending supporters in the stands, before ripping off his shirt and storming off the pitch.
“It’s unfortunate that such things (racist 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 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 attempted to persuade the Ghanaian to remain on the field, but Milan’s captain Massimo Ambrosini instructed the rest of his team to walk off the pitch in a show of solidarity for his team-mate.