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Jan 7, 2010

Balotelli 'tired of racial abuse'

Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli has accused Chievo fans of racially abusing him in yesterday's Serie A match and claimed he is "tired of always hearing racist chants'' when he is playing.

Balotelli was today fined €7000 euros by the Lega Calcio for provoking the home fans by clapping when he was substituted, having scored the winner in Inter's 1-0 win.

The 19-year-old made his feelings plain in a post-match interview and today released a statement emphasising his "disgust'' at the people who boo him.

"I do not apologise to those who insulted me," the statment on Balotelli's official website said. "But I do apologise to those who were innocent and whom I offended through my expressions of exasperation at the boos I received during the game and as I left the pitch.

"I should have made it clear that the fans in Verona and around Italy who boo me disgust me. Instead of enjoying a good game, they prefer to insult me.

"I am tired of always hearing racist chants when I'm on the pitch. It doesn't happen just at Verona. I was ashamed to hear my own Inter fans booing Chievo's Luciano. It's a disgrace which must end.''

Inter were also today fined 15,000 euros by the Lega Calcio, who said a small number of their supporters racially abused a Chievo player.

Balotelli insisted he did not bear a grudge against Verona.

He added: "I am not angry with Verona. I like the city a lot, so much so that I went to see Juliet's house (of Romeo and Juliet fame) with a friend.''

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