FIFA president Sepp Blatter said AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng's decision to walk-off the pitch after having racist chants directed at him was not the right one.
The former Portsmouth and Tottenham player led his teammates off the pitch during a friendly match with Pro Patria and insisted he would walk-off again in a competitive game under similar circumstances.
Quoted in United Arab Emirates newspaper The National, Blatter said: "Walk off? No. I don't think that is the solution. But the Italian federation has yet to provide FIFA with a report detailing what exactly has happened.
"I don't think you can run away, because then the team should have to forfeit the match. This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium, we have to go against that.
"The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions (against racism) - and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar."
AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has vowed to walk off the field in a competitive football game if he is subjected to any more racial abuse.
The 25-year-old Ghanaian international made world news after storming off the pitch with his teammates during the Italian club's friendly match yesterday, in protest at repeated racial abuse from the stands.
"I don't care what game it is - a friendly, Italian league or Champions League match - I would walk off again," he told CNN today, while calling for life bans for fans who racially abuse players. "If there is a racism those people should be banned from the stadium forever."
The former Premier League player and his teammates received wide praise in the game for their response to the taunts, though former Milan star Clarence Seedorf warned the action may encourage more dissent from fans.
Times journalist Gabriele Marcotti has tweeted:
Cops say they've identified the people who racially abused Boateng. Charges to follow.
Former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Patrick Vieira has tweeted:
It was brave of Kevin Prince Boateng to do what he did today, and it was the right thing. We need to stand up and stand together. Well done.
Reading striker Jason Roberts, who last year decided not to wear a Kick It Out anti-racism t-shirt until more had been done on racism in football, has tweeted:
Congratulations to AC Milan players and Kevin Prince Boateng for walking of the Pitch due to Racist abuse...
Until the authorities take appropriate action and start taking this issue seriously, this battle will have to be fought by the players..
2013...no grey area...until some real sanctions..real action is delivered.. players should walk off the pitch...enough is enough..
AC Milan director Umberto Gandini has tweeted:
Very proud of the Milan players who decided to walk off the pitch today for racist abuse from few idiots! No racism, no stupidity!
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and Stoke City striker Michael Owen have tweeted after an AC Milan player left the pitch because he was subjected to racist chants:
I can only salute Milan's decision to leave the pitch. Also noted that the majority of the fans were completely supportive of the players.
If the stories about KPB walking off the pitch with teammate's after being racially abused are true,fair play to him..well done #UefaStandUp
That Prince Boatang footage from the Milan game is shocking. Shame it takes a player to do that instead of the authorities being proactive.
AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has tweeted after being subjected to racist abuse during a friendly match today.
Shame that these things still happen... #StopRacismforever