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Juve fined for racist abuse

Juventus have been fined 30,000 euros (£25,685) after a section of fans directed racist abuse at AC Milan players during Sunday night's Serie A game.

Last Updated: 22/04/13 at 17:43 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Was not playing due to suspension

Mario Balotelli: Was not playing due to suspension

The Lega Serie A's disciplinary committee has taken exception to chants directed at black members of the Milan team, including striker Mario Balotelli, who was not playing due to suspension.

A statement published on legaseriea.it read: "A fine of 30,000 euros is issued to Juventus because fans, in the 26th minute of the first half, directed expressions of racial discrimination towards an opposition player.

"In the second minute of the second half, there were insulting chants directed at an opposition player not deployed on the field.

"Finally, between the 38th and 41st minutes of the first half, a large banner was unfurled displaying outrageous content."

Midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng was one Milan player subjected to boos and catcalls from a section of Bianconeri supporters during his club's 1-0 defeat at the Juventus Stadium.

The Ghanaian has become a figurehead for the anti-racism movement since he reacted to abuse at a friendly match at Pro Patria in January by kicking the ball into the stands and leading his team-mates off the pitch.

Boateng has subsequently met with FIFA president Sepp Blatter to discuss changes to legislation while comparing racism in the modern game to malaria at a United Nations conference in Geneva.

The 26-year-old was seen putting his finger to his lips in response to chanting as he warmed up in Turin before the stadium announcer intervened and asked offenders to stop.

The Drughi, a hardcore Juventus fan group, had appealed for all in attendance to refrain from racist behaviour via their official website ahead of the match.

Former Manchester City striker Balotelli, who served the last instalment of a two-match ban on Sunday night, has been the subject of racist abuse on multiple occasions since returning to Italy.

Inter Milan were fined 50,000 euros (£42,735) for abusing the Italy international during February's Milan derby and Rossoneri vice-president Paolo Berlusconi described the January signing as "the family's little n****r" before his debut.

Juventus moved quickly to express their disappointment and frustration over the unendorsed actions of certain individuals while reaffirming their commitment to anti-racism initiatives.

A statement published on juventus.com on Sunday night read: "Juventus Football Club reminds its fans and the media that it is heavily involved in projects dedicated to integration and is against any form of racism or discrimination.

"In fact, the club works very closely with the UNESCO Centre in Turin and, with the support of UNESCO, has conducted its third edition of 'Un calcio al razzismo' (Kick Out Racism), and its first edition of 'Gioca con me' (Play with me).

"The club's stance is reiterated before every home match. This commitment cannot therefore be up for debate simply because of the actions of single or groups of spectators which are highlighted by the intense media attention that football receives.

"Such behaviour does not represent the position of the club, its millions of fans or even the vast majority of spectators at Juventus Stadium, which is something unique in Italian football.

"This statement is not in any way intended to contest the decision of the sporting judge, on the contrary, it has to be interpreted as support, because such behaviour at Juventus Stadium should also be punished elsewhere with the same accuracy and co-operation from clubs."

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