News 30 October 2017

Mario Balotelli’s agent says black players are “discriminated against” in football

30 October 2017

Mario Balotelli’s agent says black players are “discriminated against” in football.

Mino Raiola, who also represents Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, believes racial discrimination still exist in the beautiful game.

Raiola thinks black players are treated differently to their white counterparts simply due to their skin colour.

In a newspaper interview, the 49-year-old said, “People say there is no discrimination in football? Black players are constantly discriminated against. Black players are put in a corner, they become stereotypes instantly.

“When they are young, they have to do even more to succeed. It’s not enough to be as good as a white player, you need to be better.

“I hear all the time that ‘black players are not technical enough’ but if you only have physical attributes, you definitely do not play for Manchester United. You need technical skills, intelligence, mentality and professionalism.”

Raiola, who reportedly made £41 million from Pogba’s transfer to United two seasons ago, added, “Do you think this happens in American sport? Scottie Pippen, is he black or white? Who the hell cares? Can he play basketball is all that matters.”

According to Raiola, Lukaku experienced racism as a young player. “I was talking to his mother,” he explained.

“Other parents did not believe he was 12-years-old. There was always a fuss when he scored three or four goals. They screamed he was not the right age, as he was bigger and stronger than the other players, so she took his birth certificate. He was born in Belgium, but they spread false reports he was born in Africa.”

Raiola also addressed players walking off the pitch after being racially abused by fans.

“In Italy they are 50 years behind everyone else, I’m always happy when a black player goes off the pitch in protest against racism. If one of my clients would do that I would not have any problems with it,” he concluded.