Balotelli faces racist chants at Italy's training

Last updated 03:33 22/05/2014
Mario Balotelli
Reuters
MARIO BALOTELLI: "Only in Rome and Florence are they that stupid."

Relevant offers

Football

Renewed motivation as Tasman United hunt second win against Phoenix reserves Sydney FC down Adelaide United, keep unbeaten record in A-League British man dies on 2022 World Cup stadium site in Qatar Recap: Sydney FC v Adelaide United - A-League Week 16 Wantaway West Ham footballer has car vandalised outside house Young footballers get their chance to impress US university coaches in Wellington Tasman United's defensive depth to be tested following trio of departures Defence the key as Wellington Phoenix seek nine-point week and spot in top four On the ball: 'Five years ago I was rugby mad' - how to win friends, sport and influence (sort of) your kids On the ball: Football strikes on rugby's NZ turf as kids vote with their feet

Police had to intervene after Mario Balotelli was subjected to racist chants at Italy's World Cup training base on Wednesday (local time).

Kids outside the Coverciano complex were responsible for the chants, and Balotelli appeared visibly disturbed.

The training session was open to media, and Balotelli could be heard saying as he ran by reporters, "Only in Rome and Florence are they that stupid."

While most of the fans cheered for Balotelli, police approached the area where the chants came from and they quickly ended.

Balotelli was born in Sicily to Ghanaian immigrants and brought up by an Italian foster family. He has faced racist chants throughout his professional career.

"It's unbelievable that in 2014 we still have this form of racism," Balotelli's fellow forward, Ciro Immobile, said. "It's not great for the nation. We represent Italy."

Immobile, from the Naples area, noted how insulting anti-Naples chants have pervaded Serie A stadiums recently.

"When I hear that it saddens me, because I have a lot of pride in my city," Immobile said.

Balotelli was also the focus of much speculation on racist abuse before the 2012 European Championship, and UEFA placed spotters inside stadiums, resulting in fan behaviour by Spain and Croatia being sanctioned.

Fifa claims it will have zero tolerance for racism at the World Cup but has not announced plans yet on how it will control behaviour inside stadiums.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content