MARIO BALOTELLI is at the centre of a race row after Italy’s biggest-selling paper depicted him as KING KONG. The Manchester City striker played in the Italians’ Euro 2012 win over England on Sunday.
That morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport published a drawing of Balotelli atop Big Ben, based on the film scene of King Kong climbing New York’s Empire State Building.
It clumsily expressed cartoonist Valerio Marini’s opinion that Balotelli had dominated England. But hundreds of angry readers protested that it was racist towards Balotelli, whose parents were born in Ghana, and Gazzetta was forced into a grovelling apology.
Anti-racism group Kick It Out said: “Mario’s very presence in the Italian team is symbolic on so many levels. “The Italian media ought to champion this individual rather than singling him out as a scapegoat and somehow inferior to his international team-mates.”
Milan-based Gazzetta admitted: “We need a bit more moderation, caution and good taste.”
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