Inter striker battling bigots

Balotelli 'tired of racial abuse'

January 7, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli has accused Chievo fans of racially abusing him in yesterday's Serie A match and claimed he is "tired of always hearing racist chants'' when he is playing.

Patrick Vieira
GettyImages / Mario BalotelliMario Balotelli: Sick and tired of abuse from fans.

Balotelli was today fined €7000 euros by the Lega Calcio for provoking the home fans by clapping when he was substituted, having scored the winner in Inter's 1-0 win.

The 19-year-old made his feelings plain in a post-match interview and today released a statement emphasising his "disgust'' at the people who boo him.

"I do not apologise to those who insulted me," the statment on Balotelli's official website said. "But I do apologise to those who were innocent and whom I offended through my expressions of exasperation at the boos I received during the game and as I left the pitch.

"I should have made it clear that the fans in Verona and around Italy who boo me disgust me. Instead of enjoying a good game, they prefer to insult me.

"I am tired of always hearing racist chants when I'm on the pitch. It doesn't happen just at Verona. I was ashamed to hear my own Inter fans booing Chievo's Luciano. It's a disgrace which must end.''

Inter were also today fined 15,000 euros by the Lega Calcio, who said a small number of their supporters racially abused a Chievo player.

Balotelli insisted he did not bear a grudge against Verona.

He added: "I am not angry with Verona. I like the city a lot, so much so that I went to see Juliet's house (of Romeo and Juliet fame) with a friend.''