A friendly match featuring AC Milan and Pro Patria was brought to an abrupt end on Thursday [Jan 3] afternoon when Kevin-Prince Boateng kicked the ball angrily towards a section of the crowd who had been racially abusing him and then later left the field along with the rest of his team in protest.
Milan's match against fourth-tier side Pro Patria was abandoned when Boateng, in possession on the left wing in the 26th minute, suddenly picked the ball up and smashed it towards the stand behind him.
The Ghana midfielder then tore off his shirt and walked off the field at the opposite end. On his way, he applauded other sections of the crowd, who then appeared to react angrily towards the corner of the ground from which the chants came.
Pro Patria's Dario Alberto Polverini attempted to talk to Boateng as he departed, but the midfielder carried on walking and the rest of the players and officials followed him off the pitch.
It was quickly established that play would not restart. Milan's official website, acmilan.com, was running a text commentary on the game, the headline on which was changed to read "Pro Patria-Milan suspended definitively".
The entry for the 26th minute read:
"AC Milan leaves the pitch after racist abuse by a minority of Pro Patria fans at Boateng, (Mbaye) Niang, (Urby) Emanuelson and (Sulley) Muntari. The rest of the fans in the stands disassociated themselves from such racist events."
Boateng, who previously played for Tottenham and Portsmouth, later posted his thoughts on Twitter in a succinct message.
He said: "Shame that these things still happen... #StopRacismforever"
Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy backed his team-mate on Twitter, writing: "I'm speechless, a shameful afternoon. I'm sorry for the intelligent people present at Busto, but walking off was right...."
The team's actions were also supported by the club's management.
AC Milan director Umberto Gandini, who is also European Club Association (ECA) chair, tweeted: "Very proud of the Milan players who decided to walk off the pitch today for racist abuse from few idiots! No racism, no stupidity!"