Bastia bans supporter for racially abusing Mario Balotelli
PARIS (AP) — French club Bastia has banned a supporter who confessed to making monkey chants at Nice striker Mario Balotelli during a match.
Bastia said in a statement Wednesday that the individual came forward a day earlier. The supporter—described as in his 40s—had his club membership revoked.
On Saturday, Balotelli took to Instagram and Twitter to describe the abuse he heard during Friday's 1-1 draw at the 20,000-capacity Armand Cesari Stadium in Corsica, and concluding in French by saying what happened was "une vrai honte," or a total disgrace.
The French league, which viewed video footage from broadcaster BeIn Sport, has opened an investigation which is set to start Thursday.
At the time of Balotelli's complaint, Bastia said it was not aware of or informed about any such incident.
The club said it asked broadcasters BeIn Sport and Canal Plus for footage on Monday and subsequently identified a man—whose face was blurred—making monkey chants "for several seconds" during the pre-match warmup.
The club then launched an appeal on local television and on its club channel for the individual to come forward.
BeIn Sport also released footage online last weekend, showing a handful of Bastia fans in one section of the stadium racially abusing Balotelli.
On Sunday, Balotelli's teammate, Alassane Plea, said he heard Bastia supporters abusing Balotelli during both the warmup and the game.
Bastia added that it is still waiting for further video footage it has requested to be made available.