Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Italian soccer has long struggled with racist chanting, a horror which has largely been stamped out in countries like England and Germany.
The problem persists in Italy but finally the tide is turning and ignorant fans are being beaten.
First Mario Balotelli was racially abused by Juventus fans while playing for Inter Milan two seasons ago. Italian soccer authorities had been handing out small fines for years but this time Juve were hit with a one-game stadium ban.
A fallout from that incident was the decision to allow referees to suspend games if racist chanting is heard.
Juventus have been fined 20,000 euros rather than receive a stadium ban for an offensive chant their fans sing about Inter Milan’s black striker Mario Balotelli.
As songs go, it is pretty insulting. “Se saltelli, muore Balotelli” (If you jump up and down, Balotelli will die).
After years of racist chanting from the stands, Italian soccer has finally realised it has a problem.
Inter Milan goalscorer Mario Balotelli, born in Palermo and of Ghanaian descent, was racially abused by sections of the Juventus crowd during Saturday’s 1-1 Serie A draw in Turin.