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Mario Balotelli boots the ball into the crowd after suffering racist abuse at Verona

Mario Balotelli booted the ball into the stands and was only stopped from storming off the pitch by his team-mates after suffering racist abuse in Brescia’s 2-1 defeat by Verona.

The striker’s Brescia team-mates and opponents rushed over to calm him down whilst the referee urged a statement to be read out on the speakers. The referee also temporarily suspended the game in accordance with FIFA’s protocol.

Eddie Salcedo gave hosts Verona the lead on Sunday afternoon in the Serie A clash. Matteo Pessina then doubled the home side’s advantage before Balotelli pulled a goal back for his side with a stunning strike.

Balotelli reportedly turned down Verona in the summer to join his current club Brescia. Elsewhere in Serie A, Roma’s win over Napoli on Saturday was overshadowed after being temporarily suspended due to offensive territorial chants aimed at away fans.

The Curva Sud stand, housing some of the most vocal Roma supporters, was adjudged by the match referee to be singing offensive songs about Naples and Neopolitan citizens.

One particular chant, according to reports in Rome, state that ‘Oh Vesuvio wash them with fire,’ was heard more than once.

An announcement was made over the PA system calling for the chants to cease before the game was stopped fora number of minutes in another negative episode in Italian football.

Last weekend, Balotelli kicked a camera in frustration at being substituted against Genoa on Saturday and the furious owner of it said he will make Brescia pay for it.

The incident took place in the second half of Genoa’s 3-1 win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris when Balotelli was substituted for Alfredo Donnarumma after failing to make an impact on the game.

Professional photographer Massimo Lovati had left the camera on a tripod next to the pitch, as he always does, when the eccentric striker kicked the camera in anger.

Balotelli is back playing for his hometown club after rejoining Brescia on a free transfer from Marseille in the summer.

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