'Balotelli must prove himself'

Roberto Mancini says when he calls up Mario Balotelli to play for Italy again it will not be because of the colour of his skin.

13 November 2019 | Sports

Italy coach Roberto Mancini says he will only call up Mario Balotelli if he deserves it for football reasons, and not to make a statement against racism.

Balotelli, who has not played for Italy since September 2018, kicked the ball towards opposition fans and threatened to walk off the pitch, after being subjected to racist insults from the crowd during Brescia's Serie A match against Hellas Verona earlier this month.

“When I call (up) Mario Balotelli it will be because he deserves it, not because of the colour of his skin,” Mancini told a news conference.

“I know Mario and I love him. Remember, I got Mario to play when he was a boy, so I know him really well.”

Italian soccer federation president Gabriele Gravina said last week that naming Balotelli in the squad would send a strong message against racism, but Mancini said the player had not done enough on the pitch to deserve a recall. “You can think like the president said, but you need to understand that if Balotelli gets another chance, it will be because he deserves it from a technical point of view,” Mancini added. Racism has been a problem in Serie A in recent months. Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was abused by Cagliari fans in September and a game was briefly suspended when Fiorentina defender Dalbert said he had been racially abused by Atalanta supporters.

Italy has already qualified for next year's European Championship, but a victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday would give them a 10th consecutive win.

Balotelli earned his first cap for Italy in a friendly match against the Ivory Coast on 10 August 2010. He amassed over 30 caps and represented his country at Euro 2012, the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup and the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

He helped the national side reach the final of Euro 2012, and also won a bronze medal at the Confederations Cup. Along with Antonio Cassano, he is Italy's top-scorer in the Uefa European Championship with three goals. He is also Italy's top-scorer in the Fifa Confederations Cup, alongside Giuseppe Rossi and Daniele De Rossi.



NAMPA/REUTERS

Similar News

 

What are you talking about?' Kyrgios blasts Thiem in...

21 hours ago | Sports

NAMPA/AFPOutspoken Australian Nick Kyrgios questioned Dominic Thiem's intellect yesterday after the world number three told him to stop criticising fellow tennis stars Alexander Zverev and...

Cricket Namibia brings new tournament

21 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIWINDHOEKCricket Namibia has introduced a new tournament to keep fans entertained after the annual Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Cricket Festival was cancelled.The annual XCO...

I'm president, coach and player – Ibrahimovic

21 hours ago | Sports

NAMPA/AFPWith Milan two goals down on Tuesday, Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a 62nd minute penalty for his sixth goal this season. Four minutes later he set...

One Exco member proposed NPL chop

21 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISAWINDHOEK There is allegedly only one member in 10 of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) executive who submitted a bid for the expulsion...

Groot Aub to host tournament

21 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIWINDHOEKThe Groot Aub Football Challenge series Powered by Dad Man will take place this weekend.The aim of the tournament is to give a platform...

Lampard warns Abraham to stay focused amid contract talks

1 day - 08 July 2020 | Sports

NAMPA / AFPChelsea manager Frank Lampard has warned Tammy Abraham not to let protracted contract talks affect his performances.Abraham has scored 15 goals during a...

Southern hemisphere tests possible later this year

1 day - 08 July 2020 | Sports

NAMPA/REUTERSSouthern hemisphere rugby remains optimistic they will be able to play the Rugby Championship later this year and that a full Super Rugby competition will...

Schools should seek approval for big sports events

1 day - 08 July 2020 | Sports

NAMPAThe Namibian Schools Sports Union (NSSU) national coordinator, Solly Duiker, says Namibia is now in stage four of the state of emergency that allows contact...

Sunshine cheers on MTC

1 day - 08 July 2020 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIWINDHOEKThe MTC Nestor Sunshine leadership has expressed appreciation toward MTC’s continued support for the academy after the telecommunications company gave generous sponsorship to the...

Hangana Hake Run & Ride called off

1 day - 08 July 2020 | Sports

NAMPAHangana Seafood has announced the cancellation of its Hangana Hake Run & Ride event that was scheduled to take place on 3 October in Walvis...

Latest News

Namibia's airport gears for operations...

21 hours ago | Business

Namibia's flagship airport the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) is ready for its restart plan as borders are going to gradually open under the provisions...

'Swapo campaign benefitted from Fishrot'

21 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA State witness in the ongoing bail application of former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau and his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi dropped a bombshell yesterday when...

Itula not a competitor –...

21 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement does not see the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), a mooted political party led by former presidential...

Air Namibia wants its wings...

21 hours ago | Transport

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKAir Namibia has written to the Transport Commission of Namibia, demanding to know why the national carrier's air services licence has been temporarily suspended.The...

Namibia receives 2.35 million...

21 hours ago | Economics

China has donated Covid-19 related supplies worth 40 million Namibian dollars (2.35 million US dollars) to Namibia to assist the country in fighting the virus,...

Time for Swapo to answer

21 hours ago | Opinion

Now more than ever, the ruling party Swapo has no excuse to maintain the deafening silence on allegations it has benefitted from the multi-million-dollar Fishrot...

Farmers rue lack of post-resettlement...

21 hours ago | Business

By Edward Mumbuu JnrSome resettlement beneficiaries have expressed discontent in governments post-resettlement support programme, which they suggest, derails the productivity and profitability of such farms.The...

San's existence under threat

21 hours ago | Environment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The San's environment is constantly under threat, and while they were once able to sustain themselves and their way of...

Pick n Pay assault twist

21 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK The wife of a suspect, who can clearly be seen beating a Pick n Pay employee in a video that went viral this...

Load More