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Italian the target of continuous abuse from the stands.
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Balotelli suffers racist abuse as Spaniards aim monkey chants at Italy striker
Mario Balotelli was racially abused during his side’s Euro 2012 opener as hundreds of Spain fans made monkey noises at the Italy striker.
Photographer Chris Brunskill, a 35-year-old from Liverpool, witnessed the abuse in the 40,000-seater Arena Gdansk in Poland.
He said: ‘I was sat behind the goal with all the Spanish fans behind me and they were involved in monkey chanting and laughter and mockery whenever Balotelli was on the ball.
‘The ringleaders were two fans who were in fancy dress as Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal. But the stewards just seemed to think it was a laugh, and they did nothing. They seemed to think it was a giggle.
Another photographer, Getty’s Michael Steele from Wells, Somerset, said: ‘I could not see who was involved but it was obvious they were monkey chants. It was disgusting. There is no excuse for it. I am pretty sure Balotelli knew what was going on and heard it as he was close to that section of the crowd when he was booked.
Greek freelance photographer Yiannis Kourtoglou, 31, who lives in Cyprus, told the Daily Mirror: ‘The monkey whoops were from the Spanish end. I could not see how many people were involved but they were clear.
SOURCE: Daily Mail
This is by no means the first time that Spanish fans have been accused of racism towards players on the field of play, indeed when England took on Spain in a friendly Ashley Cole was the subject of monkey chants for 90 minutes.
It’s worrying that stewards and police at the stadium elected to do nothing about the abuse dished out at Mario Balotelli and one can only imagine UEFA will sit idly by and make another pointless, and inaccurate, statement about their ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards such racist attacks.