have been fined 50,000 euros after fans racially abused their
former player Mario Balotelli in Sunday's derby with AC Milan, Serie A's
disciplinary commissioner said in a statement on Tuesday.
Balotelli, himself, has been fined 10,000 euros for an "insulting gesture" towards Inter fans at the end of the 1-1 draw.
authorities have long been criticised by anti-racism campaigners for
not cracking down hard enough on discrimination in sport and more
displeasure may follow at Inter's relatively small fine coupled with a
warning from the commissioner over future incidents.
fine was not just for the Balotelli abuse but also for racism towards
Milan's fellow former Inter player Sulley Muntari as well as offensive
banners and fans' use of a laser aimed at players' eyes.
22-year-old Balotelli raised a finger to his lips when fans of Inter -
where he had made his name before moving to England's Manchester City -
made monkey calls and waved inflatable bananas at the San Siro.
Italy's most prominent black player, has been the biggest target of
racist abuse from the stands and reports said part of his motivation for
moving to City in 2010 was a desire to escape the insults.
were forced to play a home game behind closed doors in 2009 after fans
racially abused the Italy international striker by singing "a black
Italian does not exist".
returned to Italy in January with Inter's biggest rivals Milan but any
hopes that Inter fans would forgive him or, at least not racially abuse
him, were soon dashed.
Serie A statement said the abuse started "in the 11th minute of the
first half" and continued "in the 11th, 15th, 16th and 19th minutes of
the second half".
appeared to have finally got to grips with its football racism problem in
January when Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng stormed off the field in a
friendly against lower league side Pro Patria following abuse from the
The encounter was
abandoned, Boateng was praised across the Italian and world game while
Pro Patria were ordered to play their next home match in an empty
were reminded of their powers to stop games after racist abuse but that
did not happen on Sunday, with the insults only picked up on by the
media once the match was over.
black night," ran Monday's headline in Tuttosport daily, whose
commentary concentrated more on the fact that this was the first game in
which the player had not scored since transferring to Milan.
Italy's election looking deadlocked, there seems little chance of a
quick change to a law which meant that Balotelli, born in Italy to
Ghanaian parents and adopted by Italians, could not get Italian
nationality until he was 18.
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