Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Stand closure in Balotelli case suspended

Published:Friday | November 22, 2019 | 12:33 AM
Brescia’s Mario Balotelli (right) holds his head in his hands at the end of an Italian Serie A match against Hellas Verona, where he was racially abused by their fans, at the Bentegodi Stadium in Verona, Italy, on Sunday, November 3.
Brescia’s Mario Balotelli (right) holds his head in his hands at the end of an Italian Serie A match against Hellas Verona, where he was racially abused by their fans, at the Bentegodi Stadium in Verona, Italy, on Sunday, November 3.

ROME (AP):

The Italian Footballer Federation’s (Federcalcio) appeals court has suspended the partial stadium closure handed to Hellas Verona after their fans racially abused Mario Balotelli.

The court says that an additional inquiry is needed before it can issue a final decision on the case “to identify with exactness the sector where the racist chants came from, as well as their perception and dimension”.

The ruling means that Verona fans will be allowed into the poltrone est – the sector where the chants came from – for Sunday’s match against Fiorentina.

Balotelli, a striker for Brescia, threatened to leave the field because of the racist chants directed at him by Verona fans during a match earlier this month. The game was suspended for several minutes.

Federcalcio president Gabriele Gravina, who had applauded the decision by the Serie A judge to close the stadium partially, said he was “very disappointed” with the decision by the appeals court.

Verona had appealed the decision.

Meanwhile, Balotelli was reportedly sent off from a Brescia training session yesterday by coach Fabio Grosso for lack of dedication.