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Football: Boateng joins FIFA racism task force

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, who won wide praise for walking off the pitch in protest at racist abuse from fans, on Friday agreed to take part in a new FIFA taskforce aimed at tackling the problem.

"I want to be part of this task force. I would like to help," the Berlin-born, former Ghana international told reporters after meeting FIFA president Sepp Blatter at the federation's headquarters in Zurich.

The 26-year-old said that looking at the future he was "very, very positive... and hopefully we will get rid of this illness, racism".

Blatter meanwhile said he was thrilled that Boateng had accepted his proposal but maintained that while the player's protest during a friendly match in January had shaken football, he did not agree that walking off was the best way to fight racism.

"The solution is that the whole family of football must go against" racism, he said.

The Swiss FIFA chief has instead called for sports sanctions, including docking teams points or relegation if clubs' fans are found guilty of committing racist acts.

Boateng on Thursday likened racism to a virulent disease that blighted the game, during a United Nations anti-discrimination meeting in Geneva.

"The big problem with racism is that there is no vaccine for it. There are no antibiotics that you can simply take. It is like an extremely dangerous and contagious virus. It is emboldened by our indifference and inaction," he said.

The same day in Zurich, FIFA's executive committee announced the creation of its new task force on racism, to be headed by the president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Jeffrey Webb.

The task force, whose full make-up has yet to be announced, will hand over its proposals at the FIFA congress in Mauritius at the end of May.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130322/football-boateng-joins-fifa-racism-task-force