AC Milan publish picture of Paolo Berlusconi 'making peace' with Mario Balotelli following racism row

AC Milan vice-president called the striker 'the family's little n****'

AC Milan have made moves to end the racism row that has engulfed the club since video footage of vice-president Paolo Berlusconi making racist remarks regarding Mario Balotelli emerged last weekend.

The former Manchester City striker, who only joined AC Milan last week, was described as "negretto di famiglia" - translated as "the family's little n****", by Berlusconi, younger brother of the club president Silvio.

The comments were made at a political meeting in Monza near Milan on Sunday, and were caught on video by local reporters. They were then aired on the website of Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and while not receiving much attention immediately, criticism took off after foreign media picked up on the footage.

AC Milan made no immediate comment on the incident, but today posted a picture of Paolo Berlusconi and Balotelli shaking hands and smiling at each other on their official website.

A statement was published to accompany the picture and read: "Today the vice-president of AC Milan, Paolo Berlusconi, had a brief conversation with Mario Balotelli while helping out at Milanello (Milan's training ground)."

Berlusconi's comments came at a sensitive time for the club and Italian football, with Milan midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng recently staging a walk-off in a friendly match after being racially abused by a section of supporters. Boateng's actions won praise from Berlusconi senior.

Paolo Berlusconi had been attending a rally for a candidate for his brother's right-wing People of Freedom party when he made the comments.

He said: "Okay, we are all off to see the family's little n****. He's a crazy head. All the young ladies are invited as well - you can even have a chance to meet the president (Silvio Berlusconi)."

It is not the first time Balotelli has been at the centre of a race row in Italy. During Euro 2012 Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport published a cartoon depicting the former Inter Milan player as King Kong. The image of a giant Balotelli was shown swatting away footballs as he scaled Big Ben.

A spokesman for the anti-racism organisation Kick It Out pointed out at the time of the cartoon's publication the importance of Balotelli for you black players.

"Mario is such an important person in Italian football.

"Aspiring players in Italy who want to follow in his footsteps could wonder what support they will have when they get to his level when they see cartoons like that."

Balotelli's start to life on the pitch at AC Milan has started promisingly, with the striker scoring twice on his debut against Udineses at the weekend.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links