Bastia (France) (AFP) – “Several” Bastia fans racially abused Nice forward Mario Balotelli with monkey chants while one admitted it and faces a France-wide stadium ban, the Corsican club said on Wednesday.
The Italian said he suffered racist abuse throughout Friday’s 1-1 Ligue 1 draw at Bastia, where the coach of title-chasers Nice was also pelted with stones.
“So is racism legal in France? Or only in Bastia? Football is an amazing sport… those people like Bastia supporters make it horrible! A real shame,” an angry Balotelli wrote on Instagram in the aftermath.
The local public prosecutor’s office confirmed it had launched a preliminary investigation for “incitement of racial hatred”.
The French league is also looking into the allegations and Bastia said a long-time supporter of the club had owned up after Corsican media published images to find those behind the racial abuse.
Bastia said it had cancelled the fan’s season ticket and banned him from entering their stadium. They also said a legal case for a nationwide stadium ban had been launched.
The man, whose name was not released, “regretted his attitude and was conscious of the repercussions”, a Bastia statement said.
“Several individuals made monkey noises towards Balotelli,” Bastia said, denouncing it as “stupid and unacceptable behaviour”.