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.

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