Boateng and Balotelli were racially abused on Sunday
Italian giants Roma have been fined ?50,000 by the Lega Calcio after a section of supporters racially abused AC Milan?s Ghanaian players Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mario Balotelli on Sunday.
The Serie A match was suspended for two minutes shortly after half-time by referee Gianluca Rocchi, allowing the stadium announcer to order offenders to desist before play was allowed to resume.
The procedure used by Rocchi was introduced in the wake of Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng?s decision to lead his team-mates from the pitch during a friendly game at Pro Patria in January, forcing the abandonment of the match and sparking fresh debate on the subject of racism in Italian football.
Although it was not specified which three players are alleged to have been targeted by Roma fans, Milan striker Mario Balotelli was seen raising his finger to his lips in a bid to silence visiting fans.
Roma captain Francesco Totti then approached the away end during the suspension to reason with offending Giallorossi supporters.
A statement published on the league?s official website read: ?A fine of ?50,000 with a warning for Roma, whose supporters continuously addressed racially discriminatory chants to three players of the opposing team, prompting the referee to suspend the game for two minutes in order to make them desist from such reprehensible behaviour.?
The warning attached to Roma?s financial punishment could lead to the club playing future league matches behind closed doors should the events of last night be repeated.
Roma?s management responded quickly to the fine through the club?s official website, where a statement read: ?AS Roma condemns any form of racial abuse.
?This type of behaviour from any football supporters, including ours, is completely unacceptable.
?We are committed to facing this issue head-on to rid our sport of this problem and to promote respect for all.?
Meanwhile, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) pledged to push through legislation to help identify and exclude individuals found guilty of racist behaviour in Italian stadiums.
Giancarlo Abete joined FIFA president Sepp Blatter in condemning ?appalling? behaviour and, after claiming club fines are not working, he proposed more stringent sanctions for repeat offenders.