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By ESPN Staff

Balotelli fed up with racist abuse

Italy striker Mario Balotelli says he is growing weary of hearing racist abuse when playing football after being subjected to taunts - reportedly from his own fans - during Wednesday's 1-1 friendly draw with Romania.

Balotelli, 20, earned his second Azzurri cap in the draw but the Manchester City forward's appearance was marred by abusive chants, directed at him every time he touched the ball.

The game was being played in Austria, but it is believed that most of the abuse directed at Balotelli, who is the son of Brescia-based Ghanaian immigrants, came from his own supporters.

"Honestly, I don't know what to say," Balotelli told Mediaset. "If I have to hear those chants every time, you can't go forward like that. I leave others to do the judgment. I am happy to be in the national team.''

While at Inter Milan, Balotelli was the victim of racist chants from rival fans and, in April 2009, Juventus had to play a match behind closed doors as punishment for the racist chanting a section of their fans directed at him.

Plans to stop play or abandon matches if fans make racist chants are already in place, though Balotelli believes it is not fair that the majority of the supporters that turn up to the stadium should suffer because of the behaviour of a minority.

"It wouldn't be right to stop a game because a few fans that turn up to the stadium behave like that,'' he said. "We need to change these people but it's not me that has to do it.

"Where I live, the people don't reason like these people. A multi-ethnic Italy already exists and we can do better.''

Balotelli then took a swipe at the media in England, saying: "I would like to see that in Manchester they speak of these problems and not of my girlfriends."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said he was "disgusted'' by the latest abuse that Balotelli received, while Italy federation president Giancarlo Abete handed his support to the striker.

"This is something that must be condemned,'' Abete said. "This is unacceptable behaviour.''


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