Balotelli booked for pointing out abuse


Kick It Out expect a strong response from the French football authorities after Mario Balotelli was reportedly cautioned for pointing out racist abuse.

The Italian striker was yellow carded in the 74th minute of Nice's 3-2 defeat to Dijon on Saturday.

He was the subject of racist chanting, but was punished by Nicolas Rainville, say Nice, for telling the referee.

Nice wrote on their Twitter account: "Mario Balotelli has inherited a yellow card, after… getting annoyed with racist insults from the public."

A statement from Kick It Out read: "Kick It Out was shocked to see Mario Balotelli booked for bringing to the attention of the referee alleged racist chanting directed towards him by Dijon supporters.

"It is unacceptable and wrong to see that once again, a match official has failed to apply the UEFA protocol – in place for a number of years – which requires action to be taken to stop the game to deal with the offending abuse.

"Although Kick It Out's remit is within English football, the organisation has contacted anti-discrimination network Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) to see what actions they will be taking in raising this with Ligue 1 officials.

"The organisation expects a strong response from the French football authorities in condemning both the alleged racist chanting from Dijon supporters and the failure of the referee to follow protocol to halt the behaviour, as well as the decision to compound Balotelli's experience as a victim by booking him for merely asking the match official to do his job."