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Juventus punished for racist abuse

20 April 2009 18:15

ROME, April 20, 2009 (AFP) - Juventus will have to play a match behind closed doors as punishment for the racist chanting a section of their fans directed at Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli.

The teenage Italian under-21 international forward, whose parents are Ghanaian immigrants, was subjected to racist chanting during Saturday's 1-1 draw between the two clubs in Juve's Stadio Olimpico, a game in which Balotelli scored.

However, he incurred the wrath of the Juve faithful for his part in the sending off of Portuguese midfielder Tiago, who kicked out at Balotelli and Ghana midfielder Muntari Sulley after they played keep-ball on the touchline during the match.

Fans will be barred for the visit of Lecce to Turin on May 3.

Juventus were quick to condemn the fans who abused Balotelli but sports judge Gianpaolo Tosel said the club should have done more to prevent the chants.

"There was an absence of any protests from other fans to disassociate themselves (from the racism) or of any dissuasive intervention on the part of the club," he said.

Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli had previously condemned the chants.

"On behalf of Juventus and the great majority of our fans I want to strongly condemn the racist chanting against Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli," he said in a statement.

"There are no excuses or justification for this type of behaviour. Football fans can get hot up but episodes such as this are inexcusable.

"Together we must all try to promote a sporting culture that puts respect for the adversary at its core and fights against racism."

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Serie A table

# Team MP D P
8 0 +0 0
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10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0

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