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Feb, 25, 2013

Balotelli subjected to racist taunts - report

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli was reportedly racially taunted by Inter Milan fans during the 1-1 derby draw on Sunday, the second incident he has been faced with since returning to the Serie A.

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Balotelli, 23, was seen holding a finger to his mouth in a gesture aimed to silence supporters of his former team, with the Nerazzurri fans waving inflated bananas and whistling at Balotelli throughout the match, according to reports in the Italian media.

Earlier this month, Inter fans directed racist chants towards Balotelli during their Serie A match with Chievo, forcing president Massimo Moratti to apologise and encourage more accommodating scenes in the derby.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri hailed Balotelli's reaction to the situation, insisting the Italy international may have felt overawed by the circumstances surrounding the match.

"Balotelli did very well not to react to the provocations, I'm just sorry he wasn't able to score," Allegri said. "He had a great first half. Let's not forget that he's 22 years old and he was playing against his former squad. It's to be expected that he felt pressure for this match."

Balotelli played for Inter from 2006-10, helping the club to three titles in his final season with the team.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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