AC Milan’s Serie A game on Sunday night was temporarily suspended because of racist abuse directed towards Mario Balotelli and other black players by Roma fans.

Referee Gianluca Rocchi halted the game and the stadium announcer told Roma supporters they must desist with their monkey chants against black Milan players, or the game would be postponed.

Earlier Sulley Muntari was sent off for restraining the referee when it seemed like he was going to issue Balotelli a second yellow card.

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Disgrace: Roma fans aimed racist abuse at Mario Balotelli

Disgrace: Roma fans aimed racist abuse at Mario Balotelli

 
Halted: Balotelli and Kevin Prince-Boateng stand together during the stadium announcement

Halted: Balotelli and Kevin Prince-Boateng stand together during the stadium announcement

 

 
Players wait for the game to be resumed

FIFA FURY AT RACE ABUSE

Sepp Blatter was also outraged by the behaviour of certain Roma fans, tweeting:

‘Appalled to read about racist abuse in Serie A last night. Tackling this issue is complex, but we’re committed to action, not just words.’

Roma captain Francesco Totti and his Milan counterpart Massimo Ambrosini were among the senior players who had complained to Rocchi before he suspended play.

Totti was later sent off for an elbow on Milan defender Phillipe Mexes, as the game petered out to a 0-0 draw.

In January a friendly between Milan and Pro Patria was suspended because of racist chants aimed at Kevin-Prince Boateng.

The Italian Football Federation introduced new rules to help referees tackle racist behaviour in the wake of Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng’s decision to walk off the pitch in a January friendly against Pro Patria in the face of abuse.

 
Dismissed: Sulley Muntari was sent off for restraining the referee

Dismissed: Sulley Muntari was sent off for restraining the referee

Referees are now able to call matches to a halt for an announcement to be made demanding an end to chants.

Should any such announcements fail to have an effect on offenders, match and stadium officials are ultimately authorised to abandon the game.

The Rossoneri must now wait until the final day of the campaign to match or better fourth-placed Fiorentina’s result, while Roma’s only hope of a foray into Europe rests on success in the Coppa Italia final, where they face Lazio.

Fiorentina kept themselves within touching distance of Milan by beating Palermo 1-0 and condemning the Sicilians to relegation, Luca Toni scoring the only goal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
And playing alongside the Rosanero in Serie B will be Siena, whose fate was sealed before the Tuscans had kicked a ball in anger.

Giuseppe Iachini’s men started the day six points shy of 17th-placed Genoa and knew their destiny was out of their own hands when Inter Milan visited the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The Rossoblu duly registered a goalless draw against Inter to secure their own future and render Siena’s later game at Napoli a dead rubber.

 
You're off: Totti was dismissed for a vicious elbow on Phillipe Mexes

You’re off: Totti was dismissed for a vicious elbow on Phillipe Mexes

 
Hold up: The game was nearly postponed because of the abuse

Hold up: The game was nearly postponed because of the abuse

Walter Mazzarri’s Azzurri, who guaranteed themselves a second-placed finish with victory over Bologna in midweek, were given a stern examination as the Bianconeri took a shock lead through debutant Fabrizio Grillo.

But the San Paolo faithful demanded one last push and Edinson Cavani duly headed home his 35th goal of the season in the second half before Marek Hamsik settled a 2-1 win deep into stoppage time.

Udinese and Lazio are desperate to secure Europa League football by booking fifth place and the Romans kept in touch with their northern rivals by beating Sampdoria 2-0.

After a brace from Antonio Di Natale saw Udinese overturn Giuseppe De Luca’s early goal to beat Atalanta 2-1 at the Stadio Friuli, Lazio managed to edge out 10-man Samp in the capital city.

Sergio Floccari opened the scoring at the Stadio Olimpico and Antonio Candreva rubber-stamped the points with a penalty after Samp substitute Renan was dismissed for dissent.

Elsewhere, Bologna claimed all three points from the Emilia Derby as Saphir Taider and Davide Moscardelli scored the goals to beat Parma 2-0, while Torino claimed a 1-1 draw with Chievo with Alessio Cerci cancelling out Cyril Thereau’s opener.

 

 

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