‘Shame on you’: Balotelli slams Lazio fans for racist abuse

National Sports

Lazio’s Danilo Cataldi and Brescia’s Mario Balotelli, left, vie for the ball during the Italian Series A soccer match between Brescia and Lazio at the Mario Rigamonti stadium in Brescia, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. (Gianluca Checchi/LaPresse via AP)

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BRESCIA, Italy (AP) — Mario Balotelli slammed Lazio fans after the Italian forward was once again the target of racist chants in Brescia’s 2-1 home defeaton Sunday.

The Serie A soccer match was halted for a few minutes shortly after the half-hour mark and an announcement was made on the stadium’s tannoy system, while Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi wildly gesticulated to the visiting fans to stop.

Brescia was leading 1-0 at the time following a goal scored by Balotelli, who had also been subjected to racial abuse earlier in the match.

Balotelli posted a video of his goal on Instagram after the match and wrote: “Lazio fans that were today at the stadium SHAME ON YOU!”

The 29-year-old Balotelli was singled out by Lazio fans for abuse all match with other offensive chants, that weren’t specifically racist, against him and his family.

Balotelli was also the target of racial abuse earlier this season when he threatened to leave the field due to racist chants directed at him by Hellas Verona fans during a match in November.

Racism has been a problem all season in Italy with offensive chants aimed at Romelu Lukaku, Franck Kessie, Dalbert Henrique, Miralem Pjanic, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalidou Koulibaly as well as Balotelli. All of the players targeted — except for Pjanic, who is Bosnian — are black, and many of the incidents have gone unpunished.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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