Balotelli threatens to leave soccer field amid racist chants

Nov 3, 2019, 11:16 AM | Updated: Nov 17, 2019, 1:44 pm
Mario Balotelli reacts to racist chants...
Brescia's Mario Balotelli speaks to Brescia's head coach Eugenio Corini during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Verona and Brescia at the Bentegodi stadium in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Simone Venezia/ANSA via AP)
(Simone Venezia/ANSA via AP)

VERONA, Italy (AP) — Brescia striker Mario Balotelli threatened to leave the field due to racist chants on Sunday.  Hellas Verona fans directed the chants at him during a top-tier soccer game in Italy.

Balotelli was visibly upset as he fought for the ball at the end of the stadium, which is where he heard the “monkey” chants. Then, he interrupted the action, picked up the ball and angrily drop-kicked it high into the stands to vent his frustration.

As the referee ordered a warning read out over the stadium’s public address system, Brescia teammates and Verona players both embraced Balotelli and persuaded him to stay

Opposing coach heard nothing against Balotelli

Verona coach Ivan Juric said he didn’t hear any racist chants.

“There was absolutely nothing,” Juric said. “There were a lot of whistles every time he had the ball but not racism. I didn’t hear a single (chant).”

Second suspension this weekend

The match at Bentegodi stadium was temporarily suspended. At the time, Verona lead 1-0.

It was the second time this weekend that a Serie A game was suspended for offensive chants. On Saturday, Roma supporters aimed anti-territorial chants at Napoli.

Balotelli was born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants and has represented Italy’s national team. He recently returned to Serie A after several seasons in France.

Not the first time for Balotelli

The 29-year-old Balotelli also experienced racism at the beginning of his career in Italy, when he rose to prominence with Inter Milan.

Verona went ahead 2-0 before Balotelli scored for Brescia and the game ended 2-1.

Balotelli also hit the post in the first half of one of his best performances since joining Brescia — his hometown club — in August.

Balotelli’s on- and off-field antics

Considering his physique, technical ability and qualities as a finisher, Balotelli is potentially one of the world’s best strikers. But his on- and off-field antics have often overshadowed his on-the-field achievements.

Balotelli won the league title during his time at Manchester City.  But he was also sent off-field four times. He also threw a dart at a youth-team player. And he was involved in an incident that involved fireworks in his bathroom. After scoring against Manchester United, he revealed a T-shirt under his City jersey reading, “Why Always Me?”
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Today’s Top Stories


Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testif...
The Associated Press

Aide: Trump dismissed Jan. 6 threats, wanted to join crowd

Former President Donald Trump dismissed his own security about the threats at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, according to new testimony Tuesday.
1 day ago
QAnon Utah race...
The Associated Press

Utah’s GOP Congressmen defeat primary challengers

Utah's four GOP congressmen win primary elections, move on to November's general election.
1 day ago
FILE - Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, addresses a crowd during a rally on April 25, 2014, in Sandy, Utah. T...
The Associated Press

Sen. Mike Lee fends off 2 opponents to win Utah GOP primary

Utah Sen. Mike Lee claimed a victory Tuesday night in the state's primary election, defeating two challengers.
1 day ago
In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, right, is seated beside her attorney, Christian Everde...

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison

The sentencing was the culmination of a prosecution that detailed how Epstein and Maxwell flaunted their associations to groom vulnerable girls.
1 day ago
A technician works on a component of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket ahead of the launch on the Mahia ...
NICK PERRY Associated Press

NASA hopes New Zealand launch will pave way for moon landing

The mission came together relatively quickly and cheaply for NASA, with the total mission cost put at $32.7 million.
1 day ago
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., center, speaks as the House select committee investigating the J...
The Associated Press

Jan. 6 panel calls surprise hearing to present new evidence

A surprise hearing has been called by the House Jan. 6 panel to present new evidence.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Balotelli threatens to leave soccer field amid racist chants