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Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Monday, 20 April 2009 17:21 UK

Juve punished over racial abuse

Mario Balotelli
Balotelli made his Inter debut in December 2007

Juventus have been ordered to play a home game behind closed doors after their fans racially abused Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli at the weekend.

The 18-year-old scored Inter's goal in the 1-1 Serie A draw and was taunted by sections of the Juve crowd in Turin.

The Italy under-21 international was born in Palermo, Sicily, but is of Ghanaian descent.

The Italian League is likely to bar fans from Juve's home game against Lecce on 3 May.

Italian clubs have previously been punished by fines following incidents of racist abuse.

However, the abuse suffered by Balotelli on Saturday prompted league officials to come down heavily on Juventus.

Club president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has apologised to Balotelli and said Serie A had to end the culture of racism among fans.

Claudio Ranieri's side, joint second in the league, are almost out of the title race with champions Inter holding a 10-point lead with six games remaining.



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