Verona hosted Brescia for their Matchday 11 clash of Serie A 2019-20. The game was full of drama as Mario Balotelli was left rattled after fans racially abused him throughout the match. The scenes at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi got worse after Balotelli punted the ball in one section of the home crowd and began to walk off the pitch in the 50th minute. However, his teammates convinced him to continue with the match after a brief discussion.
Mario Balotelli responded to the racist chants by kicking the ball into the stands.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 3, 2019
His teammates and match officials convinced the striker to remain on the pitch. pic.twitter.com/vvzuY7oBHZ
Although Brescia lost the match 2-1 against Hellas Verona, they managed to grab a consolation goal in the 85th minute, thanks to Balotelli's screamer. The Italian striker scored a 25-yard belter to pull one back for his team. The goal was a great response to racists in the crowd as Balotelli answered them with his goal-scoring prowess. Balotelli's shot smoothly curled into the net as Verona's keeper Marco Silvestri was left helpless. The home team's manager Ivan Juric denied the fact that there was any racial abuse towards Balotelli in the game.
Astonishing: 21 minutes after Racist Abuse from opposing Verona fans caused Mario Balotelli to walk off field in protest, he returns, scores this exclamation point of a goal. In truth, game better off if all 22 players walked off at first sign of Racism pic.twitter.com/Wjf6WB0Ubc— roger bennett (@rogbennett) November 3, 2019
While talking with Sky Sport Italia, Juric claimed that the crowd might have jeered and mocked Balotelli but there was nothing racist about it. He also said that he has been called 'gipsy' a lot of times but the case was completely different, keeping racist comments in mind. Juric further stated that the media can ask the striker about the incident and also said that he will be the first one to condemn if something like this takes place.
Mario Balotelli is making a stand in Italy.— Goal (@goal) November 3, 2019
Following racist abuse from Hellas Verona fans, Balotelli left the pitch and had the game temporarily suspended.
A statement was read to supporters before play continued. pic.twitter.com/IQyaJVMsTd