Mario Balotelli Boots Ball at Verona Supporters & Storms Off Pitch After Racist Abuse

After being subjected to racist abuse during Brescia's Serie A match at Hellas Verona on Sunday afternoon, Mario Balotelli responded by kicking the ball into the stands and walking off the pitch in anger. 

Balotelli was eventually convinced by teammates to return to the field, and an announcement was read to the Hellas supporters, warning them that the match would be suspended if they continued their abhorrent behaviour, as per UEFA's protocol for dealing with such abuse.

The former ​Manchester City man reacted to the racist boos and chants midway through the second half, and fired the ball into the stands in his rage over the treatment he received.

Brescia were losing the match at the time of the incident, after Eddy Salcedo opened the scoring for the hosts on 50 minutes. 

Balotelli then silenced his abusers late in the match, scoring an excellent goal from outside the box, curling his effort into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of the Verona goalkeeper.

It's not the first time that Hellas Verona have been involved in racially-charged controversies, after ​Milan midfielder Franck Kessié also received racist abuse during his side's fixture earlier this season. 

Mario Balotelli

Verona denied Kessié's claims, stating on their ​official twitter that 'maybe someone was shaken by the ovation from the Verona fans,' and demanded that their club be respected and not tarnished with these accusations. 

However, it is hard to dispute the chanting heard against Balotelli and Brescia on Saturday afternoon, which understandably caused the Italian star to take matters into his own hands. 

The 29-year-old returned to Italian football this summer after spending the last few years in France, first with Nice and then with Marseille. Balotelli bagged eight goals in 15 league matches last season, and then left Ligue 1 at the end of his contract. 

Brescia have struggled to adapt to life in Serie A after last year's promotion, and are currently languishing in the bottom three of the table. 

Source : 90min