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Watch: Mario Balotelli responds to racist chants by kicking ball into crowd, threatening to leave

Mario Balotelli reacted to alleged racist abuse from sections of Hellas Verona fans in a Serie A match on Sunday by suddenly stopping dribbling and picking up the ball and kicking it into the stands.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: November 4, 2019 8:27:23 am
Mario Balotelli walks off the field after having kicked the ball into the crowd in reaction to alleged racist abuse in Verona on Sunday (AP Photo)

Mario Balotelli kicked the ball into the crowd and threatened to walk off the field after receiving alleged racist abuse in a Serie A match on Sunday.

The Brescia striker was seen enraged by what was said to him by a section of Hellas Verona fans. Nine minutes into the second half, Balotelli suddenly picked up the ball and volleyed it into the crowd.

He then walked off the field behind the goal as play was stopped for around five minutes. Balotelli was convinced by players from both sides to stay on.

Referee Maurizio Mariani stopped the game and a message was read out over the stadium loudspeaker threatening to suspend the match for a longer period if the chants continued.

In a fitting finale, Balotelli returned to the pitch and scored the winning goal five minutes from the end of the match as Brescia won 2-1.

Speaking after the match, the Hellas Verona coach said that there had not been any racist abuse by the fans. He said that fans had directed jeers towards Balotelli, but they were not racist in nature.

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This is the second time this weekend that a Serie A match has been interrupted because of offensive chants. AS Roma’s match against Napoli on Saturday was briefly halted because of discriminatory chants from the home supporters. Balotelli is one of the very few black players to have turned out for the Italian national team.

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First published on: 03-11-2019 at 11:54:36 pm

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