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Mario Balotelli booked for reporting racist abuse to referee

Ligue 1 club's Twitter account confirmed reason for yellow card

The French Football Federation should be ashamed of themselves.

As should referee Nicolas Rainville.

Mr Rainville was the official in charge of Dijon’s 3-2 victory over Nice at the Stade Gaston-Gerard, and the man who showed Mario Balotelli a yellow card for reporting racist abuse.

Mario Balotelli was shown yellow card after complaining about racial abuse

AFP
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Mario Balotelli was shown yellow card after complaining about racial abuse

The Italian forward was cautioned after he complained about racist chanting from some of the home fans.

Balotelli missed a chance on 72 minutes and was unhappy with the reaction from the home fans which followed and mentioned it to the referee.

Nice’s official Twitter account posted: “During the break, Mario Balotelli was shown a yellow, after… being annoyed for racist abuse from the public.”

Dijon goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet insists he was not aware of any chanting.

He explained: “I told Mario that I had not heard racist chanting but he replied to me that there were some. Two or three supporters apparently provoked him.”

Nice's president was unhappy with penalty awarded to Dijon

Getty
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Nice lost the game 3-2 after a controversial penalty was awarded to the hosts

Dijon manager Olivier Dall’Oglio was equally as shocked, adding: “That is the first time that you hear about something like this at the Gaston-Gerard.

“We have a lot of players of colour and foreigners in our team, and we are very happy to have them.

“There has never been a problem with racism here. If these taunts existed, they are completely out of order… I didn’t hear anything.”

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere later complained about the refereeing of the game — but he didn’t mention the booking.

Dijon goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet insists he did not hear any racist chanting

Getty
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Dijon goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet insists he did not hear any racist chanting

He said: “I am outraged. This is now the fourth consecutive match that we feel that we have played with 11 against 12.

“The refereeing differences from one match to another are incomprehensible.

“Last week, we didn’t get a penalty for a clumsy foul in the box [on Makengo] and tonight, Dijon get one for a slight push, a hand on a shoulder, like we see at every dead ball scenario, just because the players falls to the floor.”

Unfortunately this situation is familiar…

ANSA
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Unfortunately this situation is familiar…

Last season, Sulley Muntari was booked for reporting racist abuse while playing for Pescara against Cagliari in Serie A.

The Ghanian midfielder then walked off the pitch and was later banned for for his protest, a ruling that was upheld by the league’s disciplinary commission.

Both incidents are unacceptable and the actions of the respective referees and governing bodies only serve to enable racist abuse at games.

The fact that players are being punished for reporting racism is frankly disgusting.

Punish the racists, not the victims.


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