Kick It Out slam Balotelli booking over racism complaint - FCNaija

Ligue 1 By: Ambrose Udeme | 12/02/2018

Mario Balotelli, OGC Nice

Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out have condemned Mario Balotelli’s booking for complaining about alleged racist chanting during Nice’s defeat at Dijon on Saturday.

The former Manchester and Inter Milan striker was spotted gesturing to the crowd while talking to the referee, Nicolas Rainville, during the second half of the Ligue 1 match only to then be cautioned for his actions.

Following the decision by a referee to caution Mario Balotelli for complaining to the referee about alleged racist chants during Nice’s fixture against Dijon on Saturday (10 February), Kick It Out has released the following statement.

"Kick It Out was shocked to see Mario Balotelli booked for bringing to the attention of the referee alleged racist chanting directed towards him by Dijon supporters.

"It is unacceptable and wrong to see that once again, a match official has failed to apply the UEFA protocol – in place for a number of years – which requires action to be taken to stop the game to deal with the offending abuse.

"Although Kick It Out’s remit is within English football, the organisation has contacted anti-discrimination network Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) to see what actions they will be taking in raising this with Ligue 1 officials.

"The organisation expects a strong response from the French football authorities in condemning both the alleged racist chanting from Dijon supporters and the failure of the referee to follow protocol to halt the behaviour, as well as the decision to compound Balotelli’s experience as a victim by booking him for merely asking the match official to do his job." the statement read.

Nice later tweeted a picture of Rainville booking Balotelli with a caption that said he was given the yellow card for “getting annoyed with racist insults from the public."

The Nice president, Jean-Pierre Rivère, hit out at the standard of refereeing, telling the club’s official website: “I am scandalised. It’s been four consecutive games that we have the feeling of playing at 11 against 12." said Rivère in an interview with the club's official website