Mario Balotelli at centre of racism storm after Berlusconi Jnr calls him 'the family's little n****'

Italy international was at the centre of a racism row before when a newspaper cartoon depicted him as King Kong

Mario Balotelli is at the centre of a fresh racism storm in Italy, just days after completing his return to his native country with a move to AC Milan.

The former Manchester City striker was described as "negretto di famiglia" - translated as "the family's little n****", by the Milan vice-president Paolo 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 have since been 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.

The comments come 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 was 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)."

A spokesman for the Serie A club said today there would be no comment from AC Milan regarding the video.

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.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
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.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam