It wasn’t long ago that we reported that significant penalties would be handed out to individuals who commit racial behaviour. The first of those severe punishments have been revealed, with Italian Law Enforcement arresting a middle-aged man for racial abuse. This ignorant and unwanted behaviour applied to Mario Balotelli, a Striker for Lazio. The unidentified man has acquired a five-year ban from all football facilities in Italy. When crowds began to turn against Balotelli, he brutally kicked the ball towards the masses and caused personal injury to a select few. However, Mario hasn’t received any penalties or suspensions for his actions.
When the announcement that this unidentified man had been arrested by Verona Police and was banned from football matchups, it was believed this applied to Italy. Sky Sports then reported that this ban applied under the European Union, across all sporting events. This applies to local sports bars and designated sporting areas. Verona Police quickly confirmed after their original announcement that twelve other individuals were under investigation and that racial behaviour won’t be tolerated anymore.
All those identified for their racial remarks and behaviour towards Mario Balotelli were caught on CCTV Cameras. Individuals located around these racist men were questioned, with police acquiring confirmation to their suspension. These punishments are following after years or racial abuse in European soccer leagues. Those caught for their behaviour in the past received fines but never a Europe-wide banning. Lazio FC expressed that future racial chants or behaviour will prompt immediate suspension of games.
The Problem & Pushback
Most aren’t aware that racism has been growing substantially in the European Union, with new mindsets being reflected at various sporting activities and public events. Italians have been at the forefront of this issue, often pushing back against authorities. Subsequently, every weekly development for Lazio FC has resulted in racist chants for two months. Anti-Racism Campaigns are often destroyed, stadiums have been defaced, and African-American athletes are required extensive security in Italy.
Italians are pushing back against organizations will millions of dollars at disposal. That’s why the Series A-League has provided Lazio FC permission to fight back against this racist behaviour. Another banning that occurred recently was directly from Lazio FC, who refused to allow the Corriere Dello Sport newspaper back into the stadium. This follows after a reporter for the paper participated in the chants and advocated for them online. Mario Balotelli prays that by the end of this decade, racism won’t be a factor in European soccer.