UEFA ARE LOOKING into reports that a banana was thrown in the direction of Italian striker Mario Balotelli during the 1-1 draw with Croatia in Poznan yesterday.
The Manchester City player started up front alongside Antonio Cassano for the Azzurri before being substituted for Antonio Di Natale on 69 minutes and, according to Italian news agency Ansa, he was subjected to racist abuse by a section of fans.
In the run-up to the finals, 21-year-old Balotelli said he would walk off the pitch if he heard such slurs in Poland.
The European football governing body, who only days ago fined the Russia Football Union for the behaviour of their supporters in the game with the Czech Republic, will look into the matter after a picture of the fourth official picking up a banana from the side of the pitch emerged. However, Italian boss Cesare Prandelli has rejected such claims.
“That’s absolutely untrue,” the Azzurri coach said at a news conference on Monday.