Mario Balotelli condemns Italy’s first black senator, Tony Iwobi

Mario Balotelli has hinted at racism awaiting Toni Iwobi in the Italian senate

Italian footballer Mario Balotelli has attacked the country’s first black senator in an online post.

Toni Iwobi was elected on Sunday for the anti-immigration Lega party.



“Maybe I’m blind or perhaps they have not told him yet that he is black. But shame!!!” the footballer posted on Instagram.

Born in northern Nigeria, Mr Iwobi came to Italy in 1976 and became a councillor for Lega (the League) in the Lombardy city of Spirano in 1995.

What did Balotelli’s post say?

The Italy striker, who plays for French Ligue 1 side Nice, put his post on Instagram on Tuesday.

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Accompanying the text was a photo of Mr Iwobi and League leader Matteo Salvini, both raising clenched fists and wearing T-shirts saying “Stop Invasion” at an anti-immigration rally.

While there have been black members of Italy’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, the 62-year-old Toni Iwobi is the first black senator.

In a Facebook post celebrating his election, Mr Iwobi thanked Mr Salvini, who he called “a great leader”.

Last month, Balotelli was booked by a referee for pointing out racist chants made during his side’s 3-2 loss to Dijon.

Anti-discriminatory body Fare said the striker should get “added protection” from referees for highlighting such abuse.

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