Mario Balotelli Suffers Racist Abuse, Threatens Walk-Off

By Daily Sports on November 4, 2019

Mario Balotelli threatened to walk off the pitch after he was the target of racist abuse during Brescia’s Serie A defeat by Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Referee Maurizio Mariani paused the game and began the anti-racism protocol after Brescia’s Balotelli picked up the ball early in the second half and kicked it into the crowd.

Infantino: Serie A’s handling of racism ‘absurd’

Balotelli’s teammates and match officials convinced the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker to remain on the field, and an announcement followed, warning that further abuse would lead to the abandonment of the match.

Balotelli did not speak with reporters after the match but posted a video of the incident later on his Instagram account with a message thanking those who showed solidarity with him and denouncing those that “deny the evidence.”

Hellas Verona coach Ivan Juric denied hearing any racist chanting.

“Racists make me sick, but today I didn’t hear anything,” Juric told Sky Sport Italia. “I heard a lot of whistles, the classic kind. A lot of provocation, but I heard nothing racist. It’s a lie.

“I didn’t hear [them], let’s not talk bulls---. I heard nothing, just whistles and nothing else. When there are [racist chants], I’ll say it, because they make me sick.”

Brescia coach Eugenio Corini also said he didn’t hear the offensive chants but added, “If the referee decided to suspend the match and ask for that announcement to be made something must have happened.

“Honestly, I was far away and I didn’t hear anything,” Corini said.

Corini was later fired by the club, which has struggled this season and is near the bottom of Serie A. No new manager was immediately announced.

At the time of the incident, Brescia trailed 1-0. They eventually lost 2-1, with Balotelli scoring five minutes from the final whistle.

Verona owner Maurizio Setti told Sky Sports Italia: “We heard nothing at the stadium. Racism among Verona fans does not exist.” (Sky Sports)

•PHOTO: Mario Balotelli 

Source Daily Sports

Posted November 4, 2019


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