Brescia president Massimo Cellino has sparked controversy with his latest comments on Mario Balotelli as the racism storm rumbles on at the club.
Balotelli was subjected to vile chants from Verona fans earlier this month, but has shockingly been met with a lack of support from all quarters since the incident.
That was despite the fact that videos shared on social media offered audible evidence of the abuse towards the Italian international, and it has already led to widespread criticism of the clubs in question and the Italian FA.
As for Balotelli, he was dropped from Brescia’s squad to face Roma this past weekend as coach Fabio Grosso wasn’t happy with his application, but now Cellino has offered a rather questionable retort on the 29-year-old.
“What do you want me to say about him? He’s feeling gloomy, he’s working to clear things up but he’s having difficulty. We cannot think that a player alone will save the squad, that would be wrong for the team,” he is quoted as saying by Football Italia, who add that the term he used to make his point about being ‘gloomy’ was the word for ‘black’, and that has unsurprisingly led to the potential of a fresh racism row.
Balotelli was so enraged with the racist chants towards him in Verona that he kicked the ball towards the area of supporters where the abuse was coming from before threatening to walk off.
With what has happened since, and the lack of support mentioned above, it would arguably come as no surprise if his time at Brescia comes to an early end in January, provided that there is still interest in him from elsewhere to give him an opportunity to move on.
Having scored just two goals in seven games so far this season, it’s not the return to Serie A that he would have wanted and it’s a huge shame and point of embarrassment for Italian football that the troubles noted above could lead to him leaving instead of sorting the issues at hand.
Based on the video below though, it sounds as though Cellino was dismissive of the way in which his words were interpreted…
— Tuttomercatoweb (@TuttoMercatoWeb) November 25, 2019