Juventus have apologised over the racist chanting aimed at Inter’s teenage striker Mario Balotelli during the pair’s meeting at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
Balotelli, an Italian under-21 international, was born to Ghanaian immigrant parents but was brought up by an Italian family.
The striker angered home fans in Turin throughout the game, particularly for his role in the sending off of Juve midfielder Thiago.
Balotelli was playing keep ball on the touchline with team-mate Muntari Sulley, when Thiago let his frustrations get the better of him and kicked both of them, earning a straight red card.
Balotelli then became the victim of some racist abuse from a section of the Juventus support
But Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli 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 on Monday.
“There are no excuses or justification for this type of behaviour. Football fans can get het 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.”
Italian police are studying video evidence of the racist chanting to try to identify the culprits.
Marcello Nicchi, president of the Italian Referee’s Association (Aia) said the chants were very serious.
“There are 16,000 matches played in Italy every weekend, we have to send out the right signals and educate the people,” he said.
“The racist chants directed at Balotelli are very serious, UEFA and FIFA are always talking about eliminating them.
“Referees don’t have the power to stop a match but they can report on the events to the right authorities.”
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said that Balotelli’s character made him a target.
“I promise that I’m against racist chanting but there are two aspects to consider here,” he said.
“One good: Balotelli is young, he has a lot of room for improvement in his behaviour in the future.
“And one bad: with this character he knows how to be respected but he risks compromising moments of a career that promises great things because he has all he needs to be great.
“But I have to say that he’s a good kid, before and after the match he was joking with everyone.”