AC Milan's Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien said on Wednesday that measures must be taken to ensure that racism has no place in football games.
Italian side Verona have picked-up a partial stadium closure for the next home match, after their fans racially abused compatriot and teammate Sulley Muntari during their clash in the Serie A last Sunday.
"Racism really makes me sad. The fact that in 2014 there are some stupid people that still behave like this really makes me sad,” Essien told Milan Channel on Wednesday.
"Generally speaking, those situations are awful for us but also for football.
"I think that this is the moment to act in order to change this situation. We need to stop these things that happen very often in stadiums once and for all."
The veteran midfielder said he is delighted after being included in the starting line-up in Milan's 3-1 victory over Verona.
"Personally, it was great to earn my starting place back on the pitch. I play where Inzaghi asks me to play. It doesn’t matter where."
"He is our manager and obviously he is important to us. He is doing a great job.
"He leaves us a lot of freedom on the pitch, he encourages us to fight in every situation and we play some good football," he added.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)