Verona handed partial stadium ban for Balotelli racial abuse

Brescia's Mario Balotelli, second from right, reacts to Verona supporters' racist chants during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Verona and Brescia at the Bentegodi stadium in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Simone Venezia/ANSA via AP)
Brescia's Mario Balotelli, right, reacts at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match between Verona and Brescia at the Bentegodi stadium in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Verona supporters' racist chants upset the Italian bomber who also scored one goal. (Simone Venezia/ANSA via AP)
Brescia's Mario Balotelli, right, is congratulated by a teammate after scoring his side's first goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Verona and Brescia at the Bentegodi stadium in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Verona supporters' racist chants upset the Italian bomber who also kicked the ball to fans in the standings. (Simone Venezia/ANSA via AP)
Brescia's head coach Eugenio Corini talks to Brescia's Mario Balotelli during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Verona and Brescia at the Bentegodi stadium in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Simone Venezia/ANSA via AP)
Brescia's Mario Balotelli, second from right, reacts to Verona supporters' racist chants during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Verona and Brescia at the Bentegodi stadium in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Simone Venezia/ANSA via AP)

ROME — Hellas Verona will have part of its stadium closed for one match as punishment for its fans racially abusing Mario Balotelli.

The Brescia striker threatened to leave the field because of the racist chants directed at him by Verona fans during Sunday's match, which was suspended for several minutes.

The league says Verona's "poltrone est" — the sector where the chants came from — will be closed for one match.

The league says the chants "were clearly audible" but adds that there were chants of support and applause from other parts of the ground.

Balotelli, who is black, was born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants and has represented the Italian national team. He recently returned to Serie A after several seasons in France.

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