Walkers will be cautioned

Platini says only match officials can take action over racist abuse

Michel Platini: Has warned Euro 2012 participants against walking off the field

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UEFA president Michel Platini has warned those taking part in Euro 2012 that they will be yellow carded if they walk off the pitch after being racially abused.

Rules preventing players from leaving the field of play without the referee's permission are already in place and will be upheld at this summer's European Championship - even if those concerned are the subject of racist taunts from the stands in Poland and Ukraine.

Italy international Mario Balotelli claims he would be prepared to walk if he was targeted from the terraces, but Platini has told the Manchester City striker that he will be punished for doing so unless the officials stop the game.

He said: "It's a yellow card.

"We'd certainly support the referee if he decided to stop the game.

"It's not a player, Mr Balotelli, who's in charge of refereeing. It's the referee who takes these decisions.


"So, the referee has been given advice and he can stop the game if there are problems.

"We will stop the game if there are problems because I think racism is the worst of this."

UEFA's chief refereeing officer, Pierluigi Collina, claims each of the qualified teams has been made aware of the process they should follow if one of their players is abused.

He said: "Things are clear. Referees have a protocol so they know what they have to do.

"The match director, who is responsible for each match, knows what has to be done on the field of play."

Problems with racist and anti-Semitic abuse at football matches in Poland and Ukraine have been highlighted in the build-up to Euro 2012.


The families of England stars Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have chosen not to attend the tournament over fears for their safety, while former international Sol Campbell warned black fans who do travel that they risk 'coming back in a coffin'.

Platini, who became increasingly irritated about the line of questioning at a press conference in Warsaw, refused to be drawn on Campbell's comments.

He said: "What would you like me to say? How would you want me to answer this? Everyone can do what they like."

The France great added: "I don't think there's any more racism in Poland and Ukraine than in France or anywhere else, or even in England.

"It's not a footballing problem. It's a problem for society.

"I'm not in charge of what goes on in football stadiums. It's the states that need to take charge of this."