Michel Platini Says Mario Balotelli Will Be Booked For Walking Off Over Racism At Euro 2012

Michel Platini, the Uefa president, has confirmed any players who walk off the field of play at the European Championship over racial chanting will be booked.

Platini's comments come a week after Italy striker Mario Balotelli pledged to leave the pitch should he be subjected to racist abuse from the terraces.

But Platini said at a Uefa press conference on Thursday: "It's a yellow card. It's not a player - Mr Balotelli - who's in charge of refereeing.

"It's the referee who takes these decisions. Referees can finish the game. They have this power in case of racism. That is, I think, the best way to protect the game against racism.

"The referee has been given advice and he can stop the game if there are problems."

Since he took up a position of power in football's hierarchy, the France legend has received a large amount of criticism on a wide range of subjects varying from ticket prices to his controversial World Cup host choice of Qatar in 2022, as well as racism in football.

Balotelli was racially abused by FC Porto fans playing for Manchester City in the Europa League this year, however City were fined more for returning to the pitch one minute late than the Portuguese club were for their fans' treatment of a black player.

The fine was imposed by Uefa, but Platini, 56, typically dismissed the notion his reputation was at risk however.

"My reputation because there are racists in Poland and Ukraine - are you joking? You think I am responsible for the racists in the rest of Europe or in England or in France?" he asked.

"My responsibility is not to do nothing - and we have done a lot to change the rules, to change the regulations, to help 'You're Fair' and 'Never Again'. We help them, we do a lot for racism - but I am not responsible for society.

"The society is not so easy. You have some problems and we have to organise these Euros from the beginning with some problems because these two countries never welcome so big an event in the past."