Inter hit with fine for racial abuse of former striker Balotelli

Mario Balotelli joined AC Milan from English champions Manchester City in January.

Story highlights

  • Inter Milan fined $65,500 for racist abuse during Sunday's derby with AC Milan
  • Inter fans directed taunts at their former player Mario Balotelli
  • Fans also displayed offensive banners, used a laser pen and abused a second player
  • Balotelli fined for gesturing at fans as he left the pitch

Inter Milan have been hit with a €50,000 ($65,500) fine after their fans racially abused AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli during Sunday's derby match at the San Siro.

Balotelli was making just his fourth appearance for Milan against city rivals Inter, a team with which he spent four years between 2006 and 2010.

The sanction comes after Inter's fans chanted racial slurs at the 22-year-old Italy star, as well as displaying offensive banners and aiming a laser pen at the 22-year-old, who signed from English Premier League champiins Manchester City in January.

Balotelli himself was fined €10,000 ($13,000) for aiming a gesture at fans as he headed down the tunnel at the end of the 1-1 draw.

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A statement from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) cited chanting which started in the 11th minute and was repeated in the 15th, 16th and 19th minutes.

The punishment is also for similar chants directed at another player in the 30th and 44th minutes of the first half.

Reports suggested Inter fans waved inflatable bananas, although there was no evidence connecting the objects with any incidents of racism.

Inter were fined €15,000 ($19,000) earlier this month after their fans chanted racist abuse about Balotelli during a match with Chievo.

It is the second time in recent months an AC Milan player has been the target of abuse.

During an exhibition match with Fourth Division team Pro Patria in January, Ghanaian midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng walked off the pitch after he was subject to monkey chants.

Balotelli was at the center of an embarrassing incident for the AC Milan hierarchy just days after signing for the team.

Paolo Berlusconi, the club's vice president and younger brother of owner and former Italian prime minister Silvio, referred to Balotelli as "the family's little black boy."

Balotelli has made an instant impact on his return to Serie A, scoring four goals in four games as Milan climbed above Inter in the table and into fourth place.

The striker's time at Manchester City was dominated by controversy, including an altercation with manager Roberto Mancini on the club's training ground.