Mario Balotelli

Balotelli racial abuser banned
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Fan who aimed chants at Balotelli banned from sports events

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VERONA, Italy — A Sicilian man was banned from European sports events for five years Thursday for directing racist chants at Brescia striker Mario Balotelli.

Verona police issued the ruling after reviewing evidence from the Hellas Verona-Brescia game on Nov. 3.

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The 38-year-old man was also barred from frequenting areas that fans pass through on match days.

Balotelli angrily kicked a ball high into the stands and threatened to leave the field because of the racist chants directed at him during the game in Verona, which was suspended for several minutes.

Balotelli, who is black, was also subjected to racist chants by Lazio fans during a game last weekend.

Balotelli was born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants and has represented the Italian national team. He recently returned to Serie A after several seasons in France.

Lazio fined $22,000 for racist chants at Balotelli

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MILAN — Lazio was fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) and at least temporarily avoided a stadium closure on Wednesday after its fans targeted Brescia striker Mario Balotelli with racist chants.

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Serie A judge Gerardo Mastrandrea requested that further details on the case be handled by the Italian soccer federation prosecutor to determine exactly where in the stadium the chants came from, and to what extent Lazio collaborates in terms of identifying those responsible, before possible further punishment.

Sunday’s game was halted for a few minutes shortly after the half-hour mark and an announcement to stop the chants was made to fans at the stadium in Brescia.

Brescia was leading 1-0 at the time following a goal scored by Balotelli, who had also been subjected to racial abuse earlier in the match.

Balotelli posted a video of his goal on Instagram after the match and wrote: “Lazio fans that were today at the stadium SHAME ON YOU!”

The 29-year-old Balotelli was singled out by Lazio fans for abuse all match with other offensive chants, that weren’t specifically racist, against him and his family.

“As has always happened in the past, Lazio dissociates itself in the most exhaustive way possible from the discriminatory behavior carried out by a very small minority of fans during the match against Brescia,” Lazio said in a statement after the game.

Lazio won 2-1.

Balotelli was also the target of racial abuse earlier this season when he threatened to leave the field because of racist chants directed at him by Hellas Verona fans during a match in November.

Racism has been a problem all season in Italy with offensive chants also aimed at Romelu Lukaku, Franck Kessie, Dalbert Henrique, Miralem Pjanic, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalidou Koulibaly. All of the players targeted – except for Pjanic, who is Bosnian – are black, and many of the incidents have gone unpunished.

Serie A: Atalanta bounces back by hammering Balotelli’s Brescia

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ROME (AP) Mario Balotelli showed flashes of form as he returned to Brescia’s lineup after sitting out a game due to disciplinary reasons. But it was another Mario who made the biggest impact in a regional Serie A derby with Atalanta on Saturday.

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Mario Pasalic scored either side of halftime and Atalanta won 3-0 to stay in the Champions League qualifying places.

Balotelli hit the post early in the second half and had several other chances. Still, last-placed Brescia lost its sixth straight and 10th in 13 matches this season.

Brescia hasn’t scored, and has conceded 10, in Fabio Grosso’s three matches in charge since replacing Eugeno Corini.

“We played with fear and if the opponents smell timidity they take advantage of it,” said Grosso, who is coaching in Serie A for the first time. “I haven’t been here for very long. It’s going to take time and hard work to put something worthwhile together.”

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Atalanta moved level on points with fourth-placed Cagliari and fifth-placed Roma — with the top four finishers qualifying for the Champions League.

Pasalic was left unmarked to head in Brescia’s opener and scored his second with a slick backheel flick from close range.

Josip Ilicic scored Atalanta’s third by finishing off a counterattack in added time.

VIDEO: Brescia defend club president after racist Balotelli comments

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Mario Balotelli has been subjected to more racist abuse in Serie A, this time from the president of his own club, Massimo Cellino.

Earlier this month Balotelli was subjected to racist chants from Hellas Verona fans during a game for Brescia, his hometown club, and at the weekend he was left out of the squad for their 3-0 defeat at Roma after having a disagreement with head coach Fabio Grosso.

Asked about the situation regarding Balotelli, here’s what Cellino had to say: “He’s black, what can I say, he’s working on clearing himself but he’s having a lot of difficulty.”

Here is a video of the simply shocking comments from Cellino.

The club then released a statement, saying that Cellino’s comment was “clearly misunderstood” and he was in fact trying to protect Balotelli.

Balotelli, 29, has scored twice for Brescia this season as they sit bottom of Serie A.

Brescia chief makes apparently racist remark about Balotelli

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MILAN (AP) Brescia President Massimo Cellino has made an apparently racist remark about his own club’s forward Mario Balotelli.

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The 29-year-old Balotelli has struggled since returning to Serie A with Brescia, his hometown club, and was dropped from the weekend’s match following a dispute with coach Fabio Grosso.

Asked about Balotelli on Monday, Cellino said: “He’s black, what can I say, he’s working on clearing himself but he’s having a lot of difficulty.”

Balotelli experienced racism at the beginning of his career in Italy, when he rose to prominence with Inter Milan, and he was also the target of racist chants earlier this month during a match at Hellas Verona.

The game was suspended for several minutes and Balotelli threatened to leave the field.

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