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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 16 September, 2019

I'll walk off the pitch and go home if racially abused, says Mario Balotelli

“If someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to jail,” the Manchester City striker says.

Mario Balotelli addresses the media this week.
Mario Balotelli addresses the media this week.
Image: Fabrizio Giovannozzi/AP/Press Association Images

MANCHESTER CITY STRIKER Mario Balotelli has threatened to walk out of Euro 2012 should he be subjected to racist abuse from fans.

The enigmatic Italian has dealt with such abuse before in his career, and says he will not tolerate a repeat at the European Championship.

Balotelli told France Football of an incident in a Rome bar where he was subjected to racial slurs, and sent a warning to any fans that might target him in the future.

“There were two or three boys, and it was lucky that the police arrived quickly because, I swear, I would have beaten them,” Balotelli said of the confrontation in Rome.

“I would have really destroyed them. I hope it will not happen again because if someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to jail, because I will kill them.”

Balotelli has also had to cope with abuse while on the pitch, with Juventus fans targeting him in 2009. And he has decided that he will leave Euro 2012 if he has to put up with it in Poland and Ukraine.

“Let’s see what happens at the Euros. I hope it will pass without a problem. I really couldn’t deal with that,” he said. ”I will not accept it at all. If it should happen again, I will leave the pitch immediately and I will go back home. It’s 2012 and it is unacceptable. Sometimes when you are strong as a player, people have to find other ways to make you angry. They think the only way to hurt you is to provoke you.”

For more check out our dedicated Euro2012 mini-site>

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