Super Mario is caught in the middle

by admin

Friday, November 19th, 2010

International friendlies are probably the most irrelevant set of matches in the footballing calendar.

Despite the depressing idea of watching a mediocre performance by England and also hearing the pointless thoughts of Adrian Chiles and Andy Townsend, the footballing world was dealt another devastating blow.

Italy versus Romania would never really catch the imagination particularly with Brazil facing Argentina and Portugal looking for revenge against neighbours Spain.

Wednesday proved to be a step back to the dark ages as Mario Ballotelli was subjected to more racial abuse by a minority of Italian fans.

Love him or loath him nobody deserves to be racially abused, but for the Manchester City striker this is not the first time this has happened to him.

The Ghanaian born Italian citizen experienced the wrath of racist chanting while at the San Siro, the most publicised case was the reception Super Mario received at the Stadio Delle Alpi, where a section of the Juventus faithful claimed ‘a black Italian does not exist’.

It is not uncommon to see or hear racial chants in Serie A as it seems to be part of the game over there, but a major problem is the lack of urgency and strictness that the Italian FA will bring on aggressors.

It is further compounded by the fact that they are allowing their nation’s fans to racially abuse a player who has adopted their nation and plays in the blue of Italy with pride.

Italy has had this problem for years but the problem runs deeper than just certain racist groups, it even stems as far as some coaches.

As in the case of Bari coach Eugenio Fascetti who shouted: “The n****r Diawara spat in Garzya’s face! And the spit might even be infected! Why don’t they just stay home, these n****rs?”

Fascetti made these remarks after Torino’s Senegalese defender Djibril Diawara’s nose was broken and blood was pouring from his face, after an opponent elbowed  him while playing against Bari.

It seems from Balotelli’s point of view if he wants to be a world superstar then he will have to be ignorant to racial abuse, which it seems he will face every time he plays for Italy.

Balotelli said after the game: “If I have to hear those chants every time, you can’t go forward like that. I leave others to do the judgement. I am happy to be in the national team.”

One thing is for certain, that despite the reluctance of the Italian FA to deal with this serious problem, Super Mario will know that what ever treatment he suffers away on international duty will be diminished the moment he returns to Eastlands and the Man. City fans who idolise him.

Hopefully the Italian fans can see the talent of Balotelli and adopt him the way he has adopted Italy, and ignore the colour of his skin because they and Super Mario are both fighting for the blue of Italy.

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