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May 14th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

Italian soccer match stopped due to racist abuse of Milan's Balotelli

(CNN) - A leading Italian soccer coach has called for stronger action against racism after a top-level match between AC Milan and Roma was suspended Sunday due to abusive chants by supporters.

Milan striker Mario Balotelli was targeted by visiting fans throughout the match, and referee Gianluca Rocchi called the game to a halt in the second half to warn the crowd via the public address system.

After several minutes' delay, the match continued and ended in a 0-0 draw.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri later said the official's decision was not strong enough.

"In my opinion, there's only one solution to racism in stadium and that's suspend the match," Allegri said on Milan's website.

"To get rid of this stuff in our stadiums, you have to make big decisions. It could penalize some people but in the long run it would help us to grow as a nation and become more civilized."

Read: Italy's proud racists

He told reporters at the post-match conference: "There's no point in interrupting the game. It's a middle ground decision and it serves no purpose. Either the game should be suspended or you keep playing.

"Mario gave all he had this evening, but he's 22 years old and always subject to these racist boos and that's not good. People go to the stadium to watch the two teams but there's always these uncivilized people."

Roma was fined €50,000 ($65,000) by the Italian league on Monday, its fans having been accused of abusing three Milan players - though none were named in the Lega Calcio's notification of the punishment.

The club issued a statement saying it "condemns any form of racial abuse."

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