MILAN – Serie A club Verona have been handed a one-match partial stadium closure over the racist abuse suffered by Brescia forward Mario Balotelli on Sunday while the club themselves have banned one of their leading ultras for more than 10 years.
However, Balotelli also came under attack from politicians and a group of Verona councillors asked the municipal government to take action against him for damaging the city's image as the fallout continued from Italian football's latest racism scandal.
Balotelli kicked the ball into the crowd and threatened to walk off the pitch early in the second half of Verona's 2-1 league win because he said some fans were making monkey noises.
The referee stopped play for around five minutes while announcements were made to the crowd.
The 29-year-old, who was born in Sicily to Ghanaian parents and given up for adoption when he was three, has faced racist abuse throughout his career in Italy. He was backed by Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti and by rival club AS Roma, among others, for his action on Sunday.