Mario Balotelli’s agent has blasted UEFA president Michel Platini for his ‘disappointing’ stance on racism at Euro 2012 after the Italian was reportedly subjected to racist abuse from fans.
A minority of Spanish supporters were allegedly heard making racist chants towards Balotelli during Italy’s 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday, although Balotelli himself has yet to speak out about the issue and the Italian FA have confirmed he did not complain of hearing the chants after the game.
The Manchester City striker previously insisted he would walk off the pitch if he heard any racist abuse aimed at him, while Platini stated last week that any player leaving the field of their own accord because of abuse would receive a yellow card. Now Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, has hit out at the Frenchman because of his stance, saying both he and Uefa should be doing more to support players who are the victims of racial abuse on the pitch.
‘I have to say that the reaction of UEFA to what Mario said was very strange and I would have expected a different reaction.
‘Mario has had this problem before and in Italy we have a saying: Racism is ignorance.
‘Mario is the kind of lad where this kind of abuse glides off his back but I was very disappointed with what Michel Platini said and a lot of people are with me on that. I can’t say I’m surprised by the reaction, though.
‘I don’t believe Platini has done anything to improve the game or help the position of players — as his reaction to Mario shows,’ he added.
Uefa's attitude to racism has been heavily criticised this season after they imposed a greater fine on Manchester City for arriving on the pitch one minute late for their Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon than they did on Porto after their fans made racist chants during their tie against City in the same competition.
European football’s governing body has announced they will investigate the chants aimed towards Balotelli however, as well as launching an enquiry into Russia’s encounter with the Czech Republic on Friday, where racist chants were also heard.