Florence

Soccer: Balotelli not 'asking for abuse', says Prandelli

Racism a problem for everyone in soccer, says Italy coach

Soccer: Balotelli not 'asking for abuse', says Prandelli

(see related stories) Florence, May 20 - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said Monday that suggestions AC Milan and Italy forward Mario Balotelli in some way brought racism abuse on himself were "ridiculous". Prandelli was responding to comments by former Roma coach Zdedek Zeman, who last week suggested that if Balotelli faces jeers, it is due to his attitude, and not his skin colour. "It's a serious problem, it's like saying that if many women suffer violence, it is because they look for it," said Prandelli. "This is not just a problem of AC Milan football, or Italian (football), it is a problem for everyone". The issue of racism in soccer has been heating up amid continued fan attacks and angry responses from players. Balotelli said Monday that it was inhuman for authorities to expect him to stay silent on the soccer field under racial abuse from fans in the stands. Last week, Balotelli, who has roots in Ghana, said that he would walk off in protest the next time fans direct racist slurs at any black Milan players.

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