Verona’s local council are threatening to sue Mario Balotelli after the forward’s accusations of racist abuse in Brescia’s 2-1 loss to Hellas Verona.
However, the Serie A side have been handed a partial stadium ban by Italian football chiefs.
On Tuesday, Serie A’s disciplinary commission ordered the closure of the Poltrone Est stand, which houses the club’s Ultra fans.
The commission said on their official website: “(The) racist abuse was clearly audible, not just by the player, but also by the representative of the Federation positioned in the vicinity.”
However, a group of local councillors have proposed a motion asking the mayor to “take legal action against the player and all those who unfairly attack Verona with defamatory statements”
“It is no longer fair that Verona is put in the dock when, as in this case, nothing happened,” the document added.
Verona’s mayor Federico Sboarina may well side with the councillors as he too has denied Balotelli was racially abused.
“It seems like the sentence has already been written in stone,” Sboarina said. “Objectively, what’s happening to our city is unacceptable.
“I reiterate, I was at the stadium yesterday and everyone seemed astonished when Balotelli kicked the ball away. No-one could explain it.
“Therefore, there can only be the assumption that it doesn’t exist because there were no racist chants at the stadium. A fan base and city are being put to shame.”
Despite the club also denying any racism occurred at the game, Verona have issued an 11-year ban to Ultras leader Luca Castellini after he used racial slurs towards Balotelli in an interview where he claimed any abuse the player heard was all ‘in his head’.
“We’re an irreverent fan base, who make fun of bald players, ones with long hair, southern players and the ones of colour, but we don’t do it with political or racist instincts,” Castellini said.
“It’s folklore, there’s nothing more to it than that. Like against Milan two years ago, we celebrated and clapped for Mario. Indeed, the referee, when Balotelli threw the ball, didn’t even realise why.
“The chants came from only four people, who were only heard by the people who recorded the video. Balotelli only heard it in his own head.”
However, Castellini went on to claim that: “Balotelli’s Italian because he has Italian citizenship, but he can never be completely Italian.”
Verona said in a statement on their official website: “Hellas Verona FC announces that it has adopted a disqualification measure against Mr Luca Castellini, who expressed opinions that are seriously contrary to those that distinguish the ethical principles and values of our club.
“A suspension has been handed to the subject until June 30, 2030.”