Balotelli agent attacks Uefa as Spain fans accused of racism
No complaints from Italy, but cameraman claims Spanish support made monkey chants
IT HASN'T taken long for allegations of racism to surface at Euro 2012, and almost inevitably the claims involve Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who was apparently subjected to racist chants by Spanish fans on Sunday.
The combustible Italian, who had threatened to walk off the pitch if he was targeted during the tournament, has not commented on reports that some Spain fans directed abuse at him during the teams' draw on Sunday.
However, his agent Mino Raiola has launched an attack on Uefa president Michel Platini for being soft on racism before the tournament began.
The Guardian explains: "Raiola had not discussed the alleged abuse with Balotelli on Monday but was indignant about Platini's declaration that the Manchester City striker would receive a yellow card if he carried out his threat to leave the field."
Raiola said: "I have to say that the reaction of Uefa to what Mario said was very strange and I would have expected a different reaction... I was very disappointed with what Michel Platini said and a lot of people are with me on that. I can't say I'm surprised by the reaction, though. I don't believe Platini has done anything to improve the game or help the position of players."
The Italian Football Federation is not planning to make a complaint over the incident on Sunday, and it is not clear whether Balotelli was aware of the abuse.
"It is believed the chants were heard by photographers stationed at the end of the stadium where the Spanish fans were sitting," reported the Daily Mail."And last night a Spanish supporters' group confirmed that up to 200 fans had directed monkey chants at Balotelli."
Meanwhile Uefa has asked Poland and Ukraine to draft in extra police for open training sessions after Dutch players were subjected to monkey chants as they practised in Krakow before the tournament got underway.