Mario Balotelli was stopped from storming off the pitch by his team-mates after suffering racist abuse in Brescia’s 2-1 defeat by Verona.

Mario Balotelli boots the ball into the crowd after suffering racist abuse at Verona

The striker’s Brescia team-mates and opponents rushed over to calm him down whilst the referee urged a statement to be read out on the speakers. 

The referee also temporarily suspended the game in accordance with FIFA’s protocol. Eddie Salcedo gave hosts Verona the lead on Sunday afternoon in the Serie A clash. Matteo Pessina then doubled the home side’s advantage before Balotelli pulled a goal back for his side.

Balotelli reportedly turned down Verona in the summer to join his current club Brescia. Roma’s win over Napoli on Saturday was overshadowed after being temporarily suspended due to offensive territorial chants aimed at away fans. 

The Curva Sud stand was adjudged by the match referee to be singing offensive songs about Naples and Neopolitan citizens. 

One particular chant, according to reports in Rome, state that ‘Oh Vesuvio wash them with fire,’ was heard more than once. 

An announcement was made over the PA system calling for the chants to cease before the game was stopped for a number of minutes in another negative episode in Italian football. 

Last weekend, Balotelli kicked Massimo Lovati’s camera in anger after being substituted against Genoa on Saturday and the furious owner of it said he will make Brescia pay for it.

The incident took place in the second half of Genoa’s 3-1 win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris when Balotelli was substituted for Alfredo Donnarumma after failing to make an impact on the game.

Balotelli is back playing for his hometown club after rejoining Brescia on a free transfer from Marseille in the summer.

Roma-Napoli was temporarily suspended over ‘territorial chants’ aimed towards away fans.

Romelu Lukaku was targeted by monkey chants before putting Inter Milan top of Serie A with the winning penalty in their 2-1 triumph at Cagliari. He was preparing to take the spot-kick in the 71st minute in Sardinia when the racist chants came from the crowd and continued for several seconds.

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