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Report: Balotelli takes vile racial abuse from fans at Italy training

May 21, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

Italy Training Session & Press Conference Getty Images

More audacious and despicable racial abuse has reportedly come Mario Balotelli’s way during training for Italy’s World Cup run.

The team was training in Florence at the Coverciano, and was on hand as some racists publicly taunted the 23-year-old.

From The Guardian:

The Milan forward, who has been targeted by fans throughout his career, was training with the rest of the squad as some fans shouted “black piece of (expletive)” towards him.

The 23-year-old, who played for Manchester City between 2010 and 2013, did not react to the insults initially but reportedly told his team-mates later: “This only happens in Rome and Florence.”

It’s hard to understand a group of people finding this sort of display acceptable in public, especially with the assumption that this group of people have some semblance of interest in Italy doing well at the World Cup.

It’s unfortunate, and just another sign of a messy world.

  1. nextmanup81 - May 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Wow! I’m headed to São Paulo on June 14th and I’m bringing a Balotelli jersey with me. I hope these bags of scum stay home in Italy and don’t try to tarnish the good times that real fans are going to have watching these games together. I’m not black, but there’s no way I’d sit there and let people yell that crap without calling them out on it. Disgraceful!!

  2. ballsoharduniversity52 - May 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Typical over there

  3. midtec2005 - May 21, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Why don’t his teammates stand up for him?

  4. greej1938l - May 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Hard to find it acceptable in public??? Uhhh how about acceptable in general!

  5. mazblast - May 21, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    I feel sorry for Balotelli. If the Azzurri win, the credit will go to his teammates, and if they lose, the abuse will be heaped on him almost alone.

  6. mdac1012 - May 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    I am still staggered that every time I hear about this stuff in Europe, that the fans saying these awful things aren’t immediately removed from the facility or property. Try doing that at an American sports practice or game. You would be “escorted” out by security if the other fans didnt kick your butt first.

  7. seanb20124 - May 21, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Americans are so much better than euro trash

    • deviousimpulse - May 21, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      Boston/Montreal series anyone?

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