Serie A - Inter fined over racial abuse of Balotelli

Inter Milan have been fined 50,000 Euros after their fans racially abused Mario Balotelli during the Milan derby on Sunday.

PA Sport
Serie A - Inter fined over racial abuse of Balotelli
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AC Milan's Mario Balotelli reacts after missing a goal opportunity against Inter Milan during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Siro Stadium in Milan February 24, 2013.

Balotelli's return to the Milan derby was marred by the abuse he received from his former club, with Inter fans waving inflatable bananas and jeering.

Balotelli started his career with Inter before a turbulent spell in England with Manchester City and returned to the city in January when AC Milan signed him.

Italian authorities have long been criticised by anti-racism campaigners for not cracking down hard enough on discrimination in sport, and it seems that the disciplinary council decided to make a statement following the events of the match at the San Siro, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Balotelli was seen to raise his finger to his lips in an apparent bid to silence his detractors, but was unable to muster an even better response in the form of a goal, his nearest attempt hitting the post.

The banners that Inter fans waved at Balotelli were scathing:

"The shirt that made you famous must not be thrown away. It must be respected," read one banner, while another said, "You have thrown away our shirt. We will always insult the ungrateful and notorius Balotelli."

Earlier this month Balotelli was the target of racist chanting from a section of Inter fans during the Nerazzurri's game with Chievo, for which Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti apologised afterwards while expressing his hope there would be no repeat in the derby.

That was the second time Balotelli has been the victim of racism on his return to Italy.

The first saw AC Milan vice-president Paolo Berlusconi - the younger brother of club owner Silvio - filmed at a political meeting in Monza near Milan describing Balotelli as "negretto della famiglia'' - translated as ''the family's little n****''.

That led to accusations of hypocrisy at the Rossoneri just four weeks after Silvio Berlusconi praised midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng for walking off the pitch after he was racially abused during a friendly against Pro Patria.

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