Players paint black stripes on faces in anti-racism stance

              Desio players gather in the locker room with their faces painted with black marks as a symbolic sign against racism, prior to a youth team soccer match between Desio and Sovicese at the municipal stadium in Desio, near Milan, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. The initiative comes a week after a 10-year-old member of the Aurora Desio team was allegedly subjected to racist abuse during a match. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

DESIO, Italy (AP) — Players in a youth team match in Italy had black stripes painted on their faces in support of a young player who was racially abused last weekend.

The initiative in the Under-17 league match between Aurora Desio and Sovicese was in response to a 10-year-old Desio player allegedly being racially abused by the mother of an opponent in a junior match between the two teams.

The players also had the message “the only race I know is the human one” on their shirts during Saturday’s match, while there were special armbands for the captains and the slogan “VAR — Vietato ai Razzisti” (forbidden to racists).

The match was played in Desio, about 15 kilometers (nine miles) north of Milan.

The black youngster continued playing after hearing the alleged slur last Saturday but reported the incident to his coach and parents after the match.