Michel Platini has warned players they will be booked if they walk off the pitch at Euro 2012 in protest at being racially abused, though the Uefa president has empowered referees to halt matches if the issue flares up during the tournament.
The Italy forward Mario Balotelli has threatened to leave the field of play if he is subjected to abuse in Poland and Ukraine yet Platini, hosting a pre-tournament press conference in Warsaw, insisted the rule preventing players from departing the pitch without the officials' permission would stand. In that case, a player would be cautioned.
"It's a yellow card," said Platini when asked what would happen if a player took matters into his own hands. "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."
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