Kevin-Prince Boateng supports Mario Balotelli and says "nothing has changed" in racism fight

Press Association Sport 23:01 04/11/2019
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Boateng says nothing has changed in Italian football.

Kevin-Prince Boateng says “nothing has changed” in football’s fight against racism since he walked off a pitch almost seven years ago, in the wake of the abuse suffered by Mario Balotelli.

Brescia striker Balotelli threatened to leave the field during the second half of Sunday’s Serie A defeat at Verona because of apparent racist chanting from home fans.

In similar circumstances, Boateng, who currently plays for Italian club Fiorentina, refused to continue playing a friendly for AC Milan against Pro Patria in January 2013 in protest at racist abuse from the terraces.

The 32-year-old former Tottenham and Portsmouth player posted a video of the incident on Twitter, which ended with an image of Balotelli, and vowed to continue fighting the issue.

“6 years later NOTHING has changed but we don’t give up!,” he tweeted.

“Let’s keep fighting ALL TOGHETER (sic) against racism! #NOTORACISM #prince10 #handmade”.

Footage appeared on social media suggesting former Manchester City and Liverpool forward Balotelli was reacting to racist abuse, with monkey chants clearly audible.

Balotelli, who had picked up the ball and kicked it towards home fans, was convinced to stay by team-mates, Verona players and officials before referee Maurizio Mariani initiated the anti-racism protocol.

Verona head coach Ivan Juric later denied there was any racist abuse directed towards the Palermo-born striker, who has won 36 caps for Italy.

Boateng also kicked the ball at supporters when he was abused, before his Milan team-mates followed him off the pitch causing that match to be abandoned.

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