Balotelli reacts furiously to racist abuse as Serie A again dogged by crowd problems

The former Italy international was only stopped from leaving the field by team-mates and opponents during ugly scenes in the league encounter

Mario Balotelli almost stormed off the pitch during Brescia’s Serie A clash with Verona on Sunday after he was subjected to racial abuse once more.

The former Italy international, who has been the target of attacks throughout his career, was once again the recipient of vulgarity from the stands during the league encounter at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.

The 29-year-old was persuaded from departing the field by team-mates and opponents alike after booting the round ball into the stands.

The referee subsequently brought play to a halt before following protocol, with a statement being read out via the public address system in an attempt to quell the issue.

Balotelli has struggled with a long campaign of racial abuse against him throughout much of his career, with chants during a 1-1 draw while playing for Inter against Juventus in 2009 one of the earlier examples.

Though the forward, whose career has been marked by enigmatic on-and-off-field incidents, initially tried to brush such instances off, things came to a head at Euro 2012 when he was abused by supporters from Croatia and Spain.

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US-based website Stormfront took addditional aim at his religion, leading to a ban in Italy, while a game the following year for Milan was suspended due to the actions of Roma supporters.

He further suffered racial abuse while playing for Manchester City and Nice, while Corsican outfit Bastia were ordered to play three games behind closed doors after their supporters were found to have made monkey chants.

More to follow…



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