Napoli have released a statement to counter untrue reports Mario Balotelli was subjected to racist abuse.
The story spread through Twitter and Facebook after Balotelli was seen crying on the Milan bench following his substitution in last night’s 3-1 defeat.
Although no Italian-language news sources reported the claim, it was widely shared by English-language sites.
“With regards to some debates that appeared on Facebook according to which Mario Balotelli cried at the stadium last night because of alleged racist chants towards him, Napoli underline that, as everyone present at the stadium could tell, there were no racist chants against him, just as there have never been racist chants at the San Paolo against anyone.”
Balotelli’s tears appear to have been a mixture of frustration at missing a great scoring opportunity just before his substitution and the build-up of an emotional week.
DNA tests proved he is the father of Pia, a little girl who lives in Naples with her mother, so it’s possible he was preparing a special dedication for her.