Soccer fan who racially abused Mario Balotelli banned for 10 years, set to return in June 2030

November 08, 2019 at 08:30 am | News

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola | Staff Writer

November 08, 2019 at 08:30 am | News

Photo: Independent.co.uk

Italian football club, Verona, has announced the ban of hard-core ultras supporter leader, Luca Castellini, for his racist comment against soccer player, Mario Balotelli.

The announcement comes after Castellini said in a radio interview that the Brescia forward would never be “completely Italian”.

Verona ultra Luca Castellini has been banned until June 2030 for his comments
Verona ultra Luca Castellini has been banned until June 2030 for his comments_Photo: Dailymail.co.uk

“Balotelli’s Italian because he has Italian citizenship, but he can never be completely Italian,” said Castellini.

His comments provoked a 10-year stadium ban and a one-match partial stadium closure of the football club by Serie A’s disciplinary tribunal.

When asked if Verona fans were racist, Castellini added: “We have a negro in our team and he scored yesterday and all of Verona applauded.” 

Balotelli booted the ball into the stands after hearing monkey chants when he touched the ball
Balotelli booted the ball into the stands after hearing monkey chants when he touched the ball

The club stated that Castellini was barred “based on considerations and expressions seriously contrary to those that distinguish the ethical principles and values of our club”. 

Both sets of players tried to stop Balotelli walking off the pitch on Sunday during the game
Both sets of players tried to stop Balotelli walking off the pitch on Sunday during the game

Despite Verona disputing the claims of abuse, a video published on Twitter showed a number of supporters directing abuse at Balotelli before the forward booted the ball at them in the stands.

The incident which occurred over the weekend has generated controversy and stirred widespread condemnation.

According to the referee’s report, Balotelli was targeted with racially discriminating chants which were “clearly perceptible” to both the player and match officials. The monkey chants were generated from the stands at the Marc Antonio Bentegodi Stadium on Sunday when Balotelli was in possession of the ball.

Italian-born Ballotelli isn’t new to such racist attacks. He has faced racist chants throughout his career as a footballer including attacks while he played in the U.K for Manchester City and Liverpool and in Italy for Inter Milan.

Most viewed

Conversations

Must Read