Prandelli vows to defend Balotelli


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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has declared he and his team will stand up for Mario Balotelli should the Manchester City forward be subjected to racism during Euro 2012.

There has been a worldwide campaign to combat racism in football over the last few years yet there are fears that some players might be targeted during the tournament that will be held in Poland and Ukraine next month.

"In the case that Balotelli is a target of racial boos, we will all step out on the pitch from the bench," Prandelli said in today's press conference. "We will do something for Mario should that case arise."

The 21-year-old Balotelli experienced racism while playing for former club Inter Milan in Serie A and recently stated that he would "not accept racism at all".

Italy's base for the tournament is in Krakow and they are in Group C alongside defending European and World champions Spain, Croatia and the Republic of Ireland.