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Euro 2012: Players to be booked if they leave the pitch due to racism

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WARSAW — Uefa president Michel Platini says that any players who walk off the pitch at Euro 2012 due to racial abuse will be booked.

A BBC Panorama programme highlighted racism incidents at grounds in Poland and Ukraine, who co-host Euro 2012.

Manchester City and Italy striker Mario Balotelli threatened to walk off the pitch if he believed he was a victim.

But Platini said: “It’s a yellow card. It’s not a player — Mr Balotelli — who’s in charge of refereeing.”
Platini insists officials will deal with any racist incidents that occur during the tournament, which begins today.

“It’s the referee who takes these decisions. Referees can finish the game. They have this power in case of racism,” Platini told the BBC sports editor David Bond.

“That is, I think, the best way to protect the game against racism.

“The referee has been given advice and he can stop the game if there are problems.”

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