Balotelli suffers racist abuse during Italy friendly
Italy striker Mario Balotelli has admitted he is growing weary of hearing racist abuse when playing football.
The Manchester City youngster earned his second cap for Italy on Wednesday night in a 1-1 draw with Romania but was taunted by some spectators.
Chants were hurled at the 20-year-old every time he touched the ball in the game that was played in Austria, reportedly mostly from his own fans.
Balotelli, who is the son of Brescia-based Ghanaian immigrants, said to Mediaset: “Honestly, I don’t know what to say. If I have to hear those chants every time, you can’t go forward like that. I leave others to do the judgement. I am happy to be in the national team.”
While at Inter Milan, Balotelli was subjected to racist chants by rival fans.
In April 2009, Juventus had to play a match behind closed doors as punishment for the racist chanting a section of their fans directed at Balotelli. Plans to stop play or abandon matches if fans make racist chants are already in place.
However, Balotelli believes it is not fair that the majority of the supporters that turn up to the stadium should suffer because of the behaviour of a minority.
“It wouldn’t be right to stop a game because a few fans that turn up to the stadium behave like that,” he said. “We need to change these people but it’s not me that has to do it.
“Where I live, the people don’t reason like these people. A multi-ethnic Italy already exists and we can do better.”
Balotelli then took a swipe at the media in England. “I would like to see that in Manchester they speak of these problems and not of my girlfriends,” he said.
Kick It Out chair, Lord Herman Ouseley, said:
“The Balotelli incident is one we’ve watched with interest for some time.
“We refute claims that monkey chants aimed at him from opposing fans were not racist, and served only to create an advantage for the opposing team. This was an excuse many racist fans in this country hid behind for many years.
“This latest incident indicates certain Italian fans still have a problem with a black face in the national side. Moreover, an overall problem exists in other parts of Europe, with regards to racism in football. This is is why our links with the Fare network and Uefa are crucial.”