Balotelli threatens to leave soccer field amid racist chants


Hellas Verona bagged a second straight Serie A victory with a 2-1 triumph over Brescia, although the game was marred by racist chants from the home supporters.

Balotelli kicked the ball angrily towards Verona supporters early in the second half after hearing abuse, before threatening to walk off the pitch.

Balotelli's teammates and match officials convinced the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker to remain on the field, and an announcement followed, warning that further abuse would lead to the abandonment of the match.

Balotelli did not speak with reporters after the match but posted a video of the incident later on his Instagram account with a message thanking those who showed solidarity with him and denouncing those that "deny the evidence".

Verona president Maurizio Setti backed up Juric's comments, saying the club's fans were "absolutely not racist". According to Football-Italia, this is not the first time the Hellas Verona fans have been a part of such an incident.

Derogatory chants have also been aimed at Romelu Lukaku, Dalbert Henrique, Miralem Pjanic, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalidou Koulibaly in Serie A this season.

It had a short video of children chanting his name, as well as a message from We Africa To Red Earth founder Adriano Nuzzo who was speaking out against racism. The message said: "To the "people" in this end who made the monkey noises: Shame on you. Racists are just ignorant", Raiola said.

Verona went ahead 2-0 before Balotelli scored for Brescia and the game ended 2-1.

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"I'm not afraid to say it, nothing happened today".

Paulo Fonseca's team remain seven points behind league leaders Juventus, who stay top thanks to Matthijs de Ligt's derby victor in their 1-0 triumph at Torino on Saturday.

Balotelli, who is black, was born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants and has represented Italy's national team. "I met Balotelli and I apologised if someone said something to him".

Simone Inzaghi's side are level on 21 points with surprise package Cagliari and Atalanta after the Sardinian side saw off the 10-man Bergamo-based outfit 2-0 earlier.

Ciro Immobile scored his 100th goal for Lazio in all competitions and Joaquin Correa got the victor after an own-goal by Bastos.

Also, Fiorentina drew 1-1 with Parma, and Lecce and Sassuolo finished 2-2.

Udinese won 3-1 in a comeback away to Genoa, with assistant coach Luca Gotti in charge after the dismissal of Igor Tudor.