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Race row

The shocking video at the centre of the Balotelli race controversy

Last Updated: 08/02/13 10:20am

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Racism storm over Mario

As a man born into and made for the tabloid age Mario Balotelli never fails to provide great copy but the controversy that surrounds him on this occasion was not of his own design.

On the field his Milan debut against Udinese adhered to the script perfectly as his cocksure double had the Rossoneri faithful doth a collective cap in the direction of a player they loved to bait when draped in the colours of the Nerazzurri.

In the background though, just hours before his bow in red and black, Milan's vice-president Paolo Berlusconi, brother of the former Italian prime minister and Rossoneri owner Silvio Berlusconi, was writing a sub-plot so distasteful it would prove of interest as much to those who fill the front pages as back.

Attending a political rally in Monza for the People of Freedom Party the 64-year-old newspaper boss took to the stage to flippantly deliver racist remarks about Balotelli that were captured on camera by local reporters.

The comments come just a month after AC Milan players walked off during a friendly match in protest to racial abuse from the crowd directed at Kevin Prince Boateng.

At the time, Silvio Berlusconi praised the players for their behaviour and said there should be a zero tolerance policy against racism.

It seems his stance needs to be heeded closer to home.

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