Brescia's Mario Balotelli Subjected to Racist Abuse, Persuaded to Stay in Match

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2019

VERONA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 03:  Mario Balotelli #45 of Brescia Calcio reacts to racist chants from Verona fans during the Serie A match between Hellas Verona and Brescia Calcio at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on November 3, 2019 in Verona, Italy.  (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli almost walked off the pitch in Brescia's 2-1 defeat to Hellas Verona on Sunday after being racially abused by supporters at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.

According to Goal, Balotelli was persuaded by his team-mates and Verona players to stay on the pitch after he received abuse from the stands.

After the striker decided to remain, the match was stopped by the referee and a statement was read out to the crowd over the public address system.

Upon receiving the abuse, the Italian picked up the ball and angrily kicked it into the stands.

Verona manager Ivan Juric denied that racist abuse took place. He told Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football-Italia): 

"You can ask him, there was nothing there. I am disgusted by racist abuse and I will be the first to condemn it when it happens, but this was not it.

"They provoked him with jeers and sarcastic chants, but they were not racist. Anything else is a lie."

Balotelli went on to score in the 85th minute against Verona, but the goal proved to be only a consolation after Eddie Salcedo and Matteo Pessina had put the hosts in front.

Per Goal, the 29-year-old has been racially abused while playing for Inter Milan, AC Milan, Manchester City and Nice over the course of his career.

It is not the first time this season Verona have been involved in such incidents.

In September, the club denied fans had racially abused Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, per ESPN FC's Andrew Cesare:

Inter striker Romelu Lukaku was racially abused by Cagliari supporters in September.

Cagliari fans also abused Moise Kean while he was playing for Juventus in April. Balotelli backed Kean following the incident and was critical of Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci when Bonucci suggested his team-mate was "50-50" to blame.

Related

    Juventus Choose Pirlo

    Legendary midfielder will be appointed Sarri’s successor despite zero coaching experience (multiple reports)

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Juventus Choose Pirlo

    Football-italia
    via Football-italia

    Sancho in Whatsapp Group with Man Utd Players 👀

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Sancho in Whatsapp Group with Man Utd Players 👀

    Toby Miles
    via Mail Online

    MLS Releases 2020 Return to Season Schedule

    World Football logo
    World Football

    MLS Releases 2020 Return to Season Schedule

    MLSsoccer.com
    via MLSsoccer.com

    Koulibaly Has Been Dreaming of Messi Clash

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Koulibaly Has Been Dreaming of Messi Clash

    Goal
    via Goal