Italy and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has threatened to kill anyone who racially abuses him during next month’s Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
Balotelli said he had bananas thrown at him in a Rome bar before the European Under-21 Championships in June 2009 and if it happened again, “I will go to jail, because I will kill them,” Balotelli said.
The 21-year-old, who called himself a “genius” in the same interview, also said he would walk off the field if he received racial abuse during a game.
“I will not accept racism at all. It’s unacceptable,” he said.
His comments came after former England international Sol Campbell urged fans not to go to Euro 2012 because “you could end up coming back in a coffin,” due to the threat of racism and violence.
Balotelli has experienced racial abuse both on and off the field previously, most famously when playing for Inter Milan against Juventus, which forced the Turin-based club to play a game behind closed doors.
“I remember very well the Juventus game, but I also scored a goal,” Balotelli said.
“I had to pretend I hadn’t seen or heard anything. I wanted to play. I was young. It was up to me to tell the referee, but if I had told the referee to stop the match I wouldn’t have scored.
“Occasionally, you’re so good that people can’t think of any other way to make you angry.”
The controversial striker, who was born in Italy, said he takes pride in his roots.
“I’m black and proud to have African roots. I think I’m lucky to be black. People say about me that I’m a black boy who has fun, earns money and has girls. It’s not like that. It’s too easy to judge people through what you see.”
by Buford Balony