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Verona and Serie A issue bans for racist incidents

Serie A and Verona hand bans following racist abuse aimed at Balotelli

November 5, 2019 By Oscar Rojas
The Italian striker walked away from the pitch after being insulted by radical fans last Sunday, and both the team and the league have taken action to prevent those incidents.

Contrary to what you may think, Serie A officers and Verona execs have taken swift action to erradicate racist insults, and one man has been held accountable for his words and actions.

Earlier today, the leader of Verona's radical fans blasted Balotelli for his "exaggerated" reaction after a group of people aimed racial chants at him during the clash between the yellow and blue side and Brescia, where Balotelli plays. Radical fan Lucas Castellini denied any involvement from his group in the abuse against the striker while blasting his reaction.

Balotelli is Italian because he has Italian citizenship, but he can never be completely Italian. The chants came from only four people, who were only heard by the people who recorded the video. Balotelli only heard it in his own head. We also have a negro in our team who scored yesterday, and all of the Verona fans applauded him," Castellini told Radio Café.

Today, Verona issued a statement where they announced their decision to ban Castellini from entering their stadium for the next 10 years, as he will not be allowed into Marc'Antonio Bentegodi stadium until June 30, 2030.

"Hellas Verona FC announces that it has adopted a disqualification measure against Mr Lucas Castellini, who expressed opinions that are seriously contrary to those that distinguish the ethical principles and values ​​of our club. A suspension has been handed to the subject until 30 June 2030," the press release stated.

Added to that, Serie A execs have handed a partial ban of Marc'Antonio Bentegodi Stadium, since fans will not be allowed to sit in the zone where the racial insults were heard. The stand known as "Poltrone Est" will be closed for one game, following an analysis of the evidence heard by the Italian top-flight.

Serie A execs said that the chants were "clearly audible", but the report also added that there was applause and chants of support elsewhere in the stadium during that same moment.

This was not an isolated incident in the Italian top-flight, as the game between Roma and Napoli was also suspended momentarily for anti-territorial chants between fans of both clubs.

Balotelli blasted fans during the game, kicking the ball towards them as soon as he heard the racist insults aimed at him. He later took his protests to Instagram, where he labeled the fans' behavior as "shameful".


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