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Sarri calls for rule to halt matches due to racist abuse

London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri wants a new rule allowing matches to be halted if players are racially abused.

Sarri was speaking after the racist abuse of England players including Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi marred Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro.

Hudson-Odoi was also racially abused during Chelsea’s Europa League match at Dynamo Kiev earlier in March.

Lamenting the “stupid people” responsible for racism in football, Sarri claimed he would like to see tougher rules that allow teams to walk off in the event of abuse.

Asked if he would take his Chelsea players off the pitch, Sarri said: “We need a rule I think, a rule for the Premier League, but for all the championships, for all of football. A rule that can permit us to stop the match.”

Former Napoli boss Sarri worked in Italy for many years where racism is has been an issue  football.

“In every country there are some stupid people I think, so it’s a big problem,” he said. 

“I think that we need to do something different, probably it’s right to stop the match for 10 minutes in the first situation.”

This season Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling, who was abused by Montenegro supporters on Monday, was also subjected to alleged racist taunts from Chelsea fans during a Premier League match in December.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a banana skin thrown at him by a Tottenham supporter in the north London derby at the Emirates Stadium in December.

A friendly between AC Milan and Italian lower division club Pro Patria was abandoned after players walked off because of racist chants in 2013.

Milan’s Kevin-Prince Boateng sparked the walk-off by picking up the match-ball midway through the first half and kicking it into the crowd.

The Ghana international removed his shirt and was followed by both sets of players and officials.

England captain Harry Kane this week said he would be willing to lead a walk-off if his team suffered similar abuse in future.

Sarri said he has not yet spoken directly with Hudson-Odoi, but the Italian believes the 18-year-old can cope.

“Not for the moment, I don’t like to speak to him about this problem because unfortunately I am not able to solve it,” he said ahead of Sunday’s trip to Cardiff.

“Of course he is very young, but I think that he is really very strong. 

“The character is really very strong. I saw him very well yesterday, so I think that he is strong enough.”

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