Earlier this week, AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked out of a friendly at Pro Patria rather than endure racial abuse, a move hailed by team president Silvio Berlusconi (“these uncivilised episodes, these insulting chants take place too frequently and they offend football and all sport,”). The Observer’s Dave Hill, mindful of Berlusconi’s past, cannot help but compare and contrast the reaction to Boateng’s protest with the former Italian Prime Minister’s prior statements.
Man Of The Week : Silvio Berlusconi, backing his Milan squad’s angry response at Pro Patria to “those disgraceful, heinous racist jeers, which we hear too often” – a year and a half after his last big stand on race issues. Berlusconi told Milan voters in 2011 to back his candidate for mayor or face living in an “overrun Islamic Gypsy town, besieged by foreigners”.
• Endorsing Silvio’s 2011 message: his then-coalition partner Umberto Bossi, who made his name eight years earlier with a signature policy on immigration control. Bossi told the press that his plan to have Italy’s navy shoot at boat-loads of African immigrants was the only sure way to “chase off” the “bingo-bongos”.