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Don't copy Boateng - Italian FA

THE Italian football association (FIGC) has told players not to follow the lead of Kevin-Prince Boateng and walk off the pitch if they are subjected to racist abuse.

The FIGC today reaffirmed its policy for a pitchside 'director' to decide whether to suspend matches in such circumstances -- a move that echoes FIFA president Sepp Blatter's (below) calls earlier this week.

AC Milan midfielder Boateng left the pitch, followed by his team-mates, after he was subjected to racist taunts during a friendly against lower-league Pro Patria last week.

The Ghana international's action have since earned widespread praise while the FIGC have vowed to remove racism from stands across the country.

Part of that move has seen the governing body meet the Osservatorio -- the organisation tasked with security and safety at stadia in Italy -- to discuss the procedure surrounding racist incidents.

Those discussions have led to the organisations calling for players to remain on the pitch but revealed matches could be suspended to warn fans about their behaviour.

Last week FIFA boss Blatter called for harsher sanctions to deal with racism, but warned that players should not walk off the pitch, as they could use racism as an excuse to walk off if they were losing a game.

Pro Patria have subsequently been ordered to play their next match behind closed doors.