Mario Balotelli racially abused by Italy fans at World Cup training camp | inside World Soccer

A small group of young men reportedly shouted racist abuse towards Mario Balotelli during Wednesday's pre-World Cup training with Italy.

The incident occurred on Wednesday morning at the Coverciano training ground near Florence, where the Azzurri are preparing for this summer's tournament in Brazil.

The group shouted racist abuse towards Balotelli, who has Ghanaian heritage, through a fence round the back of the training camp.

The AC Milan forward did not react at the time, but he is reported to have told his teammates later: "Unbelievable. Only in Rome and Florence do these things happen."

Afterwards, teammate Ciro Immobile said: "In 2014, we shouldn't need to be talking about racism again.

"There are still these stories about racism towards black people, Neopolitans and people of an oriental background. We need to improve in this aspect.

"Fortunately, Mario has been very calm about it. We know that it is a serious issue, but we don't want to talk about it because otherwise you put your finger on it and our country suffers."

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, by the afternoon session there were police officers checking the perimeter.

"It's unacceptable behaviour on the part of certain people," FIGC President Giancarlo Abete told reporters. "They shouldn't have been there. But we have to put it into context.

"I have read the news from the agency but I don't have any other information. The important thing is that there were only a few people involved."


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