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Balotelli in new race row

POOR IMAGE: Balotelli's picture courtesey of Ciani's Facebook page

ITALY STRIKER, Mario Balotelli is at the centre of a second race row in as many weeks, following allegations that a banana was thrown at him when Italy played Croatia at Euro 2012.

An Italian councillor posted a picture on his Facebook page of the Manchester City star, toiling in the fields in the style of an immigrant worker.

Paulo Ciani is a member of the right-wing Future and Liberty party. His caption refers to Balotelli’s elbow on Richard Dunne in the Italians game against the Republic of Ireland.

Ciani wrote: 'He comes [sic] commits a foul worthy of a red card, scores then unleashes a verbal onslaught against the bench forcing them to shut him up. This clown should go and work in the fields.'

In Italy it is quite common to see people of African descent collecting vegetables in the fields, and there have been increasing complaints about the conditions they have to endure.

After accusations of racism, 51-year old Ciani posted a picture of himself with a black resident which was taken at a council meeting, before claiming that it was the perfect response to those who suggested he was racist.

He staunchly denied the claims, saying: “I am friends with (Ghanaian) footballer Kwadwo Asamoah who is blacker than Balotelli but he has never been whistled and jeered at because before being a footballer he is a man.

“As I said all I was doing was making a footballing comment. I believe Balotelli with his extravagance and vision on life is a poor example for the younger generation.

“I said he had to go to work because that is a common phrase. Once we used to say focus on fishing but now we say go to work.”

As yet there has been no comment from Balotelli or the Italian camp. They will meet England in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 on June 24.

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