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May 15, 2013

Balotelli: Next time I will walk off

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has told CNN that he may walk off the pitch the next time he is racially abused.

Balotelli is believed to have been one of the three Milan players who were subjected to racist abuse by Roma fans during Sunday's 0-0 draw at the San Siro.

Roma were subsequently fined €50,000 by the Lega Calcio for the behaviour of their fans – a punishment that was deemed "not valid" by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

And the Italy international, who was seen raising his finger to his lips in a bid to silence the visiting fans, says next time he may be forced to take more drastic action.

He said: "I always said that if it happened in the stadium I'd just do like nobody said nothing and I don't care, but this time I think I changed my mind a little bit and if it happened one more time I'm going to leave the pitch because it's so stupid."

The match was suspended for two minutes shortly after half-time by referee Gianluca Rocchi, allowing the stadium announcer to order offenders to desist before play was allowed to resume.

Balotelli says he was contemplating leaving the pitch, but following a conversation with Kevin-Prince Boateng - who led his Milan team-mates off in protest against racism earlier this season - he decided that it was in his side's interests to complete the game.

"I spoke with Prince and I was about to leave the pitch even Sunday but they're going to think I want to leave because we have some difficulty with the game and then we're going to win 3-0," he said. "I said it's better we play and then we talk. If it wasn't for this season then I'm going to leave the pitch Sunday."

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