Tuesday January 24 2012
Raiola threatens Balotelli departure

Mario Balotelli’s agent has said he is prepared to take his client out of English football to protect him, if he feels the Italian is being persecuted against.

The claims from Mino Raiola follow the four-game ban Balotelli is now facing as punishment for a clash with Scott Parker during Manchester City’s weekend win over Tottenham.

During the 3-2 win and before the 21-year-old’s match-winning last-minute penalty, an off-balance Balotelli appeared to deliberately kick out at England international Parker’s head.

The midfielder was on the floor having gone in to challenge Balotelli and whilst referee Howard Webb was yards away from the incident and appeared to see it, no further action was taken at the time. However, the English FA has now handed Balotelli a charge of violent conduct for the alleged stamp, prompting his agent’s tirade in the Italian media.

“Mario can't be banned for four games,” Raiola complained to Radio Radio. “He wasn't balanced and there was also a push from Modric. It is not an intentional foul because Mario doesn't want to hurt anyone, he didn't see Parker, that's all.

“I want to be balanced but I'm worried because when English players are involved in more serious things, nothing happens, whereas when foreigners are involved, such as Balotelli or [Vincent] Kompany, they are treated harsher.

“If I find that there is something strange against Balotelli, my duty is to protect and then take him away.

“In this case I would speak with City, I'd ask them what Balotelli's price is and would then look for the best team for him, as there are only six or seven teams he can play for.

“I talked to Mario who said he is happy to stay in England, but he does not understand certain things and they sadden him.”

Raiola then took his complaints further by launching a particular attack on referee Webb.

“The referee saw everything, because he spoke to Mario after the action. So in my opinion, this referee must be banned for life because he didn't tell the truth.

“The TV images show that he is really close to the action, h