With far-right booming, Italy sees recurrent racism in football

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

  |  IstoÉ

Country had 5 cases of racial grievances in the current season of the first division.

One Saturday afternoon, ten-year-old boys pitched in Brianza, northern Italy, for a football match. Called "pulcini," or chicks, in Italian, they represented the Aurora Desio and Sovicese clubs. At some point, the match warmed up and a Sovicese fan shouted to an opposing player: "black shit".

The following day, in the Italian Championship, fans at Verona's stadium made monkey sounds at Brescia striker Mario Balotelli, who kicked the ball into the stands and threatened to leave the match. Within a 24 hours time frame, the two cases in early November illustrate how racism persists in Italian football.

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