Posted: Tue January 8, 2013 1:15PM; Updated: Tue January 8, 2013 1:15PM

Pro Patria ordered to play without fans for racism

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Pro Patria
Pro Patria fans chant during their friendly with AC Milan on Thursday.
Emilio Andreoli/AP

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) -- Fourth-division Pro Patria has been ordered to play one home match behind closed doors after racist chants prompted AC Milan to walk off the pitch during a friendly last week.

The Lega Pro judge made the decision Tuesday, noting that Pro Patria has already been fined ?5,000 ($6,500) for similar behavior by its fans this season.

Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng was widely applauded for leading his Milan teammates off the pitch last Thursday, although FIFA President Sepp Blatter advised players encountering racial abuse not to walk off.

Footballers' union leader Theo van Seggelen agreed with Blatter.

Meanwhile, Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete said Tuesday that the best solution would be keeping racist fans out of stadiums, but that "if necessary, suspending matches temporarily or definitively is OK.''

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