Another race row for Italian football: Mario Balotelli 'victim of racial abuse' in Milan derby

Inter Milan could face a fine of at least €15,000 after latest incident of racism in Serie A

Racism has once again stolen centre stage in Italian football, after Inter Milan fans reportedly hurled bigoted abuse at AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Inter fans waved inflatable bananas at their former striker. In the second half, Balotelli pressed his finger to his lips in an apparent bid to silence his detractors.

He was also seen spitting in the direction of his former fans.

The Italian international was facing his former club for the first time since joining their rivals in January. Ezequiel Schelotto's second-half goal levelled for Inter, to earn a 1-1 draw after Stephan El Shaarawy's first half opener.

Serie A bosses will meet tomorrow to discuss potential punishments for Inter following the incident.

If fans are judged to have directed discriminatory or racist language at Balotelli then the club face a fine of at least €15,000 (£12,300). It would be the second such fine for the club this season, after a similar incident against Chievo.

And earlier this month AC Milan vice-president Paolo Berlusconi - the younger brother of club owner Silvio - was filmed at a political meeting calling Balotelli “negretto della famiglia” - translated as “the family's little n****r”.

And a month earlier, the older Berlusconi praised praised midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng for walking off the pitch after he was racially abused during a friendly against Pro Patria.

The furore joins a list of racist incidents sweeping European football, with Bulgarian authorities warning clubs that match delegates will now be able to abandon league games in the event of racist behaviour by fans.

In a statement, the BFU said: "BFU's delegates will order the (stadium) speaker to warn the crowd.

"Cases of racism and discrimination can lead to termination of the game and fines of 37,500 levs (£17,000)."

Bulgaria's next 2014 World Cup qualifier, against Malta in March, will be at an empty stadium after supporters racially abused Denmark player Patrick Mtiliga in October's Group B match in Sofia.

World soccer's governing body Fifa described the incidents at the Vasil Levski national stadium as "offensive, denigratory and discriminatory"

And on Wednesday three Tottenham Hotspur supporters were injured in what appeared to be an anti-semitic attack at a pub in Lyon.

Up to 50 masked thugs attacked the Smoking Dog, which was packed with Spurs supporters ahead of the team's second leg Europa League tie with Olympique Lyonnais.

It is believed one fan suffered a broken arm during the incident.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers smashed doors, and threw cast-iron chairs, wooden objects and a flare in the pub, which is popular with expatriates. Witnesses also claimed they made Nazi salutes. Firefighters, police and, according to some reports, even Spurs officials were forced to intervene.

Tottenham are known for their traditional links to the Jewish community.

Spurs fans, who were attacked by Ultras in Rome in November, face a return trip to Italy as they play Inter Milan in the next round of the Europa League.

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.

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy