04 Nov 2019
Mario Balotelli kicks ball at fans following racial abuse
Written byAyush GuptaSports
The football fraternity has been rocked by a number of racial abuse incidents perpetrated by fans.
While a couple of incidents were reported last month, this month has already witnessed another such case.
Frustrated by the fans, Balotelli kicked a ball in their direction.
Here is how the incident unfolded
The incident happened during the 55th minute while Verona were leading 1-0, as a section of the crowd became vocal. They were seemingly chanting racial slurs against Balotelli.
Frustrated by these actions, Balotelli picked up the ball in play and hit it towards the section.
He even threatened to walk off the field, while players from both the teams consoled him.
Frustrated Balotelli has had enough
Mario Balotelli kicks the ball into the stand and attempts to walk off the pitch.— Lawrence Evra Okoro (@LawrenceokoroNg) November 3, 2019
If all 22 players walk out of the pitch every weekend, I guess this racist chants in football grounds will be eliminated.
This is terrible to watch and my heart goes to Balotelli.#SayNoToRacism pic.twitter.com/cKTwUGzI8N
Balotelli thanks fellow players for their support
Following the incident, Balotelli continued to play and he even scored a goal in a 1-2 loss for the side.
He then posted a video on Instagram, thanking his fellow players for their support.
"Thanks to all the colleagues on and off the field for the solidarity expressed toward me and all of the messages received from you fans," he wrote.
Balotelli thanks his colleagues and fans for being real men
Grazie a tutti i colleghi in campo e non per la solidarietà avuta nei miei confronti e a tutti i messaggi ricevuti da voi tifosi.. grazie di cuore.Avete dimostrato di essere veri uomini non come chi nega l’evidenza . #notoracism✊🏾✊🏾 #forzabrescia⚪️🔵🦁 #testaallaprossimapartita #noinonciarrendiamo
A post shared by mb459 on
Verona coach defends incident saying there was no racial abuse
Meanwhile, following the match, Verona coach Ivan Juric said that he did not hear any racial abuse from the fans, who are 'light-hearted, not racist' and claimed that Balotelli's allegation was false.
"We are the first to condemn racism but it is wrong to generalize...Maybe two or three people among 20,000 fans might have said something," he told Sky Sport.
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Verona fans warned if racial abuse continues
While it is still not clear if there was any racial abuse, the fans were warned that the teams would walk off in case the abuse continued. The announcement was read out on the stadium loudspeaker.
FA Cup and UEFA Euro Qualifiers witnessed heavy racial abuse
As for the other racial abuse incidents, last month, a tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town was abandoned under unfortunate circumstances, as the FA is contemplating an action.
Also, the same month saw English players being abused by Bulgarian fans during their UEFA Euro 200 Qualifiers tie.
The match continued till the end after the section of abusive fans was cleared.