Advertisement
Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Gianluca Checchi/Lapresse The striker has had a difficult start to life at his hometown club.
# Race
Brescia president Cellino in hot water over 'black' Balotelli comment
The Serie A club has released a statement insisting it was a joke that has been misunderstood.

BRESCIA PRESIDENT MASSIMO Cellino has come under fire after he described Mario Balotelli’s difficult situation at the promoted Serie A club as “black”.

Balotelli was dropped for Brescia’s 3-0 defeat at Roma on Sunday after clashing with new club coach Fabio Grosso for his lack of commitment during training during the week.

“What do you want me to say about him [Balotelli]?” ex-Leeds United owner Cellino said at a Lega Serie A assembly today.

“That he is black, he is working to clear things up, but he has a lot of difficulties.”

Cellino was making a play on the Italian words ‘nero’ which means ‘black’ or ‘gloomy’ and ‘schiarirsi’ to ‘lighten up’ or ‘clear up’.

Brescia later said in a statement that Cellino’s comments were “obviously a paradoxical joke, clearly misunderstood, made in an attempt to defuse excessive media exposure and intended to protect the player himself”.

Balotelli, who was born in Sicily but adopted and raised just outside Brescia, agreed a three-year deal with the Serie B champions after being released by Marseille last June.

But it has been a difficult start to the campaign for the 29-year-old with two goals scored in seven matches.

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member

italy-balotelli-racism Filippo Venezia Cellino and Balotelli when he signed in August. Filippo Venezia

Earlier this month the former Inter Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool striker was also targeted by racist chanting during defeat at Hellas Verona, where he threatened to walk off the pitch.

Cellino, meanwhile, said that the striker was not to blame if the team are bottom of the table fighting for top-flight survival.

We cannot think that a player alone will save the squad, that would be wrong for the team,” continued Cellino.

“I signed him because he’s 1.90m, he’s an animal and he is still of an age to give something on the football pitch, not on social media.

“But he cannot be made the scapegoat for the difficult situation in Brescia. If we continue to talk about Balotelli, we hurt him and we hurt ourselves.”

© – AFP, 2019 

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Your Voice
Readers Comments
5
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel