The U.N.'s top human rights official has joined some soccer officials and players in calling for an end to racism in sport.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says racist insults and chants, Nazi salutes, petitions against players and denial of hiring based on color are deplorable. He says they're "particularly damaging" because of the importance of sports for young people.

AC Milan player Kevin-Prince Boateng and former France captain Patrick Vieira attended the event on Thursday. Pillay says "there must be accountability for racist offenses" in sports.

Boateng told a U.N. forum in Geneva that he was "angry and offended" when he led teammates off the field to protest abuse from fans of the Italian fourth-tier team Pro Patria in January.