Monday Nov 04, 2019. 12:00
Italy striker Mario Balotelli briefly left the pitch during the Serie A clash between Brescia and Hellas Verona on Sunday, accusing fans of racial slurs aimed at his direction.
Balotelli had the ball near the corner flag when he suddenly picked it up and booted it towards Verona fans.
He was eventually persuaded to stay on the pitch by both sets of players, while an announcement was made over the public address system asking fans to desist.
Balotelli later scored a superb goal as his side lost 2-1, but the match will be remembered for yet another incident involving a black player in Serie A.
But Verona’s manager Ivan Juric says there were no racial undertones to the chants from his team’s supporters.
“I am not afraid to say there were no racist chants today,” Juric told Sky Sport Italia. “They might have jeered and mocked the great player, but there was nothing there…
“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.”
It was not the only match suspended this weekend, the clash between Roma and Napoli on Saturday was also stopped after Roma supporters aimed anti-territorial chants at their rivals.