Balotelli says he won't tolerate abuse at Euros

Print version
May 30, 2012, 6:10 p.m. | Ukraine — by Associated Press
PARIS — Italy striker Mario Balotelli warned that he would walk off the field if he hears abusive chants in stadiums during the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine next month. Balotelli comments were published in France Football magazine amid concerns that the Euro 2012 could be marred by racism.

English authorities have warned that far-right football hooligans could spark violence during the tournament that runs from June 8 to July 1.

The families of two of England's black players, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, have already indicated they are unlikely to travel to the Euros because of fears of racial abuse.

Balotelli told the French biweekly magazine that he's appalled by racism in sport. He was born in Italy to Ghanaian parents.

"I can't stand racism. I don't accept it," Balotelli said in an interview with the biweekly magazine. He recounted a 2009 incident, when bananas were thrown at him in a bar in Rome.

"Those two or three boys were lucky that police came immediately because I swear I would have beaten them up," Balotelli said. "I would have really destroyed them. I hope it will no longer happen. If someone throws bananas at me in the street, I'll go to jail because I'll kill him."

"If that were to happen again, I would leave the pitch right away and go back home," Balotelli said, adding that he hopes for an incident-free tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

"Let's see what will happen at the Euros. I hope there won't be any problem," Balotelli said.

Balotelli won the Italian league three times with Inter Milan before joining Manchester City in 2010. He helped City win the Premier League title this season.

The Italian has also made headlines with his antics off the field.
The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.