Higdon: I could quit Motherwell
Tue, 21 May 2013 12:59:00
Roma have released a statement promising to ban fans who sang racially abusive songs directed at Mario Balotelli during Sunday's 2-1 win over Napoli.
Several supporters ignored warnings against abusing AC Milan's former Manchester City striker Balotelli, with the club having already been fined 50,000 euros (?42,250) after a section of their fans directed racist abuse towards a number of black Rossoneri players when Roma played them on 12 May.
The Italian footballing authorities have reacted by ordering Roma's south stand, home to the club's diehard supporters, be closed for the opening game of next season after Balotelli was abused after scoring in Milan's 2-1 win at Siena.
The club themselves have also hit out at those involved as Italian football continues its battle to tackle the problem of racism.
"What occurred on Sunday night is appalling and unacceptable," read a statement on Roma's official website.
"AS Roma does not want those individuals responsible as fans. The actions of this small group are hateful and also hurt our club and our loyal law-abiding supporters.
"We have not yet received a detailed report from the League or Federation but will continue to work with them and law enforcement to ensure that everything possible is done to identify and ban those involved from football stadia."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently described the fine imposed on Roma as "unacceptable" and too lenient, with FIFA's Congress likely to agree much tougher sanctions for racism when they meet at the end of May.
The out-of-contract striker was on Tuesday presented with the Scottish Premier League Golden Boot award just a fortnight after collecting the PFA Scotland player of the year prize.
The Englishman netted 26 league goals but at 29 years of age, he admits he might have to quit the Steelmen if he is to maximise his earning potential.
The former Crewe, Falkirk and St Mirren frontman said: "I've got to consider my options and see what's what.
"I've got to look at every opportunity. I've got a busy phone right now, it doesn't stop ringing. People filling my head with certain things, which is laughable at times.
"I've just got to weigh up my options. The age I'm at now, if financially it's the right move, I've got to look to take it.
"In an ideal world I'd stay at Motherwell for the rest of my career because it's a fantastic club but we will just have to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks and I can give you an answer then.
"I've had a really good season and I'm not sure I'll have another one like it. Hopefully I do but it will be hard to top this one.
"The club would love to keep all the boys here and give them the type of money that they want but it is difficult. We have European football again next term and this is a nice carrot to stay for but I haven't made my decision on what I'm doing yet.
"There's a good contract for me here though if I want it."