Skip to main content

Manchester City complain to UEFA over racist abuse of Balotelli

updated 12:00 PM EST, Fri February 17, 2012
Italian striker Mario Balotelli joined Manchester City from Inter Milan in 2010.
Italian striker Mario Balotelli joined Manchester City from Inter Milan in 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester City report alleged racial abuse from Porto fans to UEFA
  • City striker Mario Balotelli claims he was racially abused during the match in Portugal
  • The EPL leaders came from behind to win the first-leg match 2-1
  • UEFA will wait to receive the match delegate's report before deciding whether to investigate

(CNN) -- Manchester City have lodged an official complaint with European football's governing body after striker Mario Balotelli claimed he was racially abused during Thursday's match away to Porto.

City came from behind to win the first-leg Europa League tie 2-1 in Portugal, but the English Premier League leaders approached UEFA after the match when Italy international Balotelli complained of being subjected to racist chants from fans.

UEFA confirmed to CNN Friday that City's complaint had been received, but said a decision on whether to launch an investigation would not be made until the match delegate's report had been received.

Despite reports that Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure, playing his first match since Sunday's African Cup of Nations final loss to Zambia, was also subject to abuse, a City spokesman said the club only knew of Balotelli's complaint.

Did Liverpool's U.S. owners act too late?

Maybe in foreign countries they don't expect black players
Yaya Toure

"I didn't hear this because I was concentrating on the game. I don't know if (it happened) to Mario and Yaya," City manager Roberto Mancini was reported to have said by the Press Association.

Mancini, who also coached Balotelli when they were both at Inter Milan, praised the 21-year-old for maintaining his focus during the game.

Balotelli has had a checkered disciplinary record since arriving in England in 2010 and has just returned from a four-match ban for stamping on Tottenham Hotspur's Scott Parker during a league match in January.

"I think Mario did very well, he played very well," Mancini said. "He was calm and it is important he continues like this.

"I think this provocation can happen every game. For this reason I spoke with Mario before the game. I said, 'Mario think and play, think what you should do during the game.'"

Football is football and the fans come to enjoy the game, and we don't want things like this to happen
Yaya Toure

Manchester clubs enjoy wins in Europa League

Balotelli, an Italian of Ghanaian descent, has been on the receiving end of racist taunts in the past when representing his country. He was repeatedly jeered when he made his second appearance for his Italy in a friendly match against Romania in November 2010.

Toure said after the Porto match that one of the reasons why he enjoys playing in England is the lack of racial abuse from fans.

"That's why we all like the Premier League, because it never happens there," Toure told Sky Sports. "Maybe in foreign countries they don't expect black players.

"I think in future it will be okay, they will change their minds and the game will become more open. Football is football and the fans come to enjoy the game, and we don't want things like this to happen."

Despite Toure's claims, the English game has been hit by several recent race-related incidents.

A police investigation was launched last month when a Liverpool fan was alleged to have racially abused third division Oldham's Tom Adeyemi during an FA Cup tie.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has also recently returned from an eight-match ban for directing a racial slur at Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

In July, England captain John Terry will face trial for alleged racial abuse of Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Manchester City's Micah Richards and Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi have received racist abuse on microblogging website Twitter, as have former Everton striker Louis Saha and Scotland-based players Maurice Edu and Kyle Bartley, both of Rangers, and Inverness' Gregory Tade.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT