UN joins soccer leaders to rid sport of racism

UN human rights chief joins soccer officials, players to rid sport of racism

Associated Press
UN joins soccer leaders to rid sport of racism
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Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng and AC Milan soccer player, left, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights South African Navanethem Pillay, center, and Patrick Vieira, right, former captain of the French national football team and current Football Development Executive at Manchester City Football Club, pose for a photographers prior to a panel discussion on Racism and Sport during the World Humanitarian Day at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, March 21, 2013. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights hosts a panel discussion on "Racism and Sport". (AP Photo/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)

GENEVA (AP) -- The U.N.'s top human rights official has joined some soccer officials and players in calling for an end to racism in sport.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says racist insults and chants, Nazi salutes, petitions against players and denial of hiring based on color are deplorable. She says they're "particularly damaging" because of the importance of sports for young people.

AC Milan player Kevin-Prince Boateng and former France captain Patrick Vieira attended the event on Thursday. Pillay says "there must be accountability for racist offenses" in sports.

Boateng told a U.N. forum in Geneva that he was "angry and offended" when he led teammates off the field to protest abuse from fans of the Italian fourth-tier team Pro Patria in January.

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