Balotelli Threatens to Walk Off Pitch After Racist Taunts From Verona Fans, Then Scores Golazo

It was the second incident of fan abuse in Italy over the weekend, adding to a rapidly growing list.
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Mario Balotelli threatened to walk off the pitch in Brescia's Serie A match on Sunday after racist taunts from the spectators at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi in Verona, Italy.

Balotelli picked up the ball after dribbling to the corner of the field, then punted it into the stands. He then stormed off the field as his Brescia teammates argued with the referee.

Sunday's match was halted for a brief period as the stadium announcer read the UEFA protocols regarding fan behavior. Balotelli returned to the pitch when the match resumed, then blasted a goal into the top right corner of the net.

Balotelli's score was Brescia's lone goal of the game as Verona notched a 2-1 victory. Brescia is 18th in Serie A after Sunday's loss. 

Balotelli took to social media after the match to cast "shame" on the fans who directed the monkey chants his way.

''Thanks to all the colleagues on and off the field for the solidarity expressed toward me and all of the messages received from you fans,'' Balotelli wrote in Italian on Instagram. ''A heartfelt thanks. You've shown yourself to be real men, not like those who deny the evidence.''

Balotelli was even more direct in a message he posted in an Instagram story over a video from the stands where monkey noises are clearly heard, followed by wild cheers when he kicked the ball into the stands. The message said: ''To the 'people' in this end who made the monkey noises: Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you in front of your children, wives, parents, relatives, friends and acquaintances...shame.''

It was the second time this weekend that a Serie A game was suspended for offensive chants, after Roma supporters aimed anti-territorial chants at Napoli on Saturday. Italy, in particular has become a hotbed for abusive and racist fans, with Cagliari fans in particular being repeated offenders, only to be hardly be punished for their actions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.