Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Mario Balotelli is not to blame for the outbreak of racism in Italian football, insists AC Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri. The Italy striker has dominated the headlines on the peninsula since leaving Manchester City in January but the focus was often diverted from his remarkable 12-goal haul in just 13 Serie A games, as regular incidents of racist abuse plagued his progress. A league game between Milan and Roma in May was ultimately suspended for two minutes amid swelling abuse from visiting supporters and Balotelli was frequently seen raising a finger to his lips to hush detractors across Italy. That gesture and others have seen the striker accused of provoking the abuse - a position his coach Allegri firmly rejected ahead of a season-opening trip to Hellas Verona. He told acmilan.com: "The racism is not about Balotelli but about a lack of culture that still exists in Italy. "Mario is very calm, just like everyone else and we only think about playing football. "He need...
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