Verona patron Maurizio Setti claims his club have been made a “scapegoat” as their chief operating officer is “perplexed” by the partial stadium ban for racism.
The FIGC ruled on Monday that part of Verona’s curva would be closed for their next game after fans racially abused Mario Balotelli during their 2-1 win against Brescia at the weekend.
“We’ve been made a scapegoat,” Setti told Rainews24.
The Gialloblu reacted by giving an 11-year ban to ultras leader Luca Castellini, who claimed the racism was all “in Balotelli’s head” and repeatedly referred to him as ‘n***o’ in a controversial interview.
Director Francesco Barresi told Sky Sport Italia: “It’s a decision we took after careful consideration on Monday.
“We’ve never tolerated and will never tolerate this type of behaviour, while fighting any form of discrimination.
“We proceeded to take this measure because the principles and values that the club expects from any of its stakeholders proved to be alien to the subject in question.
“As for the section of our curva being closed off, it’s a decision that’s just been made aware to us: we’ll evaluate the action taken and then decide how to move.
“However, I must say that the measure leaves us perplexed and even amazed, given we consider it very harsh, especially if we were to identify those few subjects, as specified by the FIGC judge, in the context of a sector that holds thousands of fans.
“We want to see this thing through because we believe it isn’t correct to punish an entire sector because of a few individuals, whom we’re trying to identify, to protect the many people and families that have been supporting Hellas Verona for many years.”
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