Verona Councillors Want Mario Balotelli To Face Legal Action For Racism Claims
Verona councillors are set to take legal action against Mario Balotelli after his reaction to racist abuse during Hellas Verona vs Brescia on Sunday.
Brescia forward Balotelli was subjected to racial slurs during the game and reacted by kicking the ball at those who abused him.
Gazzetta dello Sport per Reuters are now reporting that a motion has been delivered to the Verona council by four councillors which reads:
"The mayor and the legal offices of the municipality should take legal action against the footballer and all those who attack Verona by unjustly defaming it."
The motion added: "It is no longer fair that Verona is put in the dock when, as in this case, nothing happened."
Considering the way in which the former Manchester City striker reacted, it's safe to say that something did happen.
Verona have been hit with a paltry partial stadium closure for just one game.
Following racist abuse from Hellas Verona fans, Mario Balotelli kicked the ball into the stands.- ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) November 3, 2019
His teammates and match officials convinced the striker to remain on the pitch :pray: pic.twitter.com/OcXarycXbK
Fan footage released from the game also allows you to hear the vile abuse that the 29-year-old was receiving.
A short thread on Italy and racism in 2019.- Alberto Nardelli (@AlbertoNardelli) November 4, 2019
Italian footballer Mario Balotelli was racially abused during a match in Verona this weekend. The abuse is clearly audible in this video: pic.twitter.com/NO0KXjeIw5
Following the game, Verona manager Ivan Juric denied that the Italian striker was racially abused by fans in the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.
Per Goal, Juric said:
"I don't know why he reacted like that. Let's not put it that way, it's a lie.
"We don't talk bullsh*t, if it had happened I would say so, and even if it was our own fans it would make me sick. But not today. When he scored the goal, there was a lot of goading. It was his problem, not ours."
Juric later added in his post-match press conference: "I think, on a human level, being racist is an absolute low. In this case, I don't think anything has happened. I spoke with the fourth official, too.
"There was only teasing of a great player. I don't want to say anything against Mario. It may have happened to him elsewhere."
It seems that those at Hellas Verona are refusing to take responsibility for the horrific scenes.
Italian football has been rocked with multiple racism scandals this year including the abuse of Moise Kean and Romelu Lukaku from Cagliari fans.
It seems that football still has a long way to go to curb it's racism issue.