MILAN - Action must be taken to end Italian football's culture of racism, Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said on Sunday. Inter Milan goalscorer Mario Balotelli was racially abused by some home fans during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Juve. Racial chanting is not uncommon in Serie A with the league usually handing out small fines to clubs. However, the media revulsion at Balotelli's treatment in such a high-profile game could lead to heavier sanctions against Juve with the Turin police also investigating the matter. "In the name of Juventus and the great majority of our fans, I express a firm condemnation of the racist chants against Inter player Mario Balotelli," Cobolli Gigli told Italy's ANSA news service. "Together we must try to create a sporting culture which centres on respect for an opponent and the fight against racism." A section of Juve fans sang "a black Italian does not exist" towards Balotelli on Saturday. The 18-year-old, an Italy under-21 international, is of Ghanaian descent but was born in Palermo.
19 April 2009
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